New Trip Report: The Tibetan Plateau

I was in Tibet for the second half of September and had a fabulous 2 weeks. Here’s a (very long) report (though its more pictures than text and most of those are of rodents).

Qinghai and the Tibetan Plateau: 2 weeks & 27 species including Pallas’s Cat, Wild Yak, Alpine Musk Deer, Chinese Red and Glover’s Pikas and Chinese Zokor, along with more stunning scenery than anybody needs.

If anyone has opinions about any of the rodents we saw then please weigh in.


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14 Comments on “New Trip Report: The Tibetan Plateau”

  1. vdinets Says:

    That’s really impressive for two weeks!
    The first of the photos labeled “Blyth’s Mountain Vole, Neodon leucurus. Maybe.” looks a lot like Eolagurus przevalskii, Przevalski’s steppe lemming. It is common in Qaidam Depression in some years, but is prone to wild fluctuations (although not as wild as in E. luteus, which mysteriously disappears completely for decades only to briefly re-appear again).

    • Jon Hall Says:

      Thanks Vladimir. Is that the fat looking thing on Friday 18th? Did you see them in the daytime when you were there?

      • vdinets Says:

        Yes, that one. I saw only one in Tibet (near Ge’yali) in 1993, but three years later I was in Mongolia when it was a high-density year for pretty much everything, and saw dozens of them. They are partially diurnal in high-density periods, but when they are at low density they are only found in owl pellets.

      • Jon Hall Says:

        Thanks. That’s interesting. I haven’t sent that picture yet to the academics I’ve been talking to but will pass on your ideas.

      • Jon Hall Says:

        I have talked more about this animal now with an expert and apparently there are no Steppe Voles on the high plateau (or none known) so its most likely a fat Blyth’s Mountain Vole…. or so I am told

      • vdinets Says:

        Do you remember if it had tail?

      • Jon Hall Says:

        I didn’t see the tail

  2. vdinets Says:

    You should also check your photos for Cricetulus hamsters: they are common and look very vole-like there.

  3. Martin Singfield Says:

    We visited the same area with Jesper last year, and saw and equally impressive tally of mammals, including a pack of 7 Tibetan wolves. Jesper is an excellent guide.

  4. vdinets Says:

    BTW, have I sent you the Vole Atlas by Krasnov & Shenbrot? It has the best range maps available.

  5. gordy1983 Says:

    Deeply impressed that you spotted a Pallas Cat. Great trip report of such a special place. You are living my dream!

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