Mapangyong Cuo

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Mapangyong Cuo

  • Country: 
  • Site number: 
  • Area: 
    73,782 ha
  • Designation date: 
  • Coordinates: 
    30°41'N 81°23'E
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Mapangyong Cuo. 07/12/04; Tibet Autonomous Region; 73,782 hectares; 30°44'29"N 081°19'42"E. A high-altitude wetland of the Tibetan plateau (4,500-6,500m asl) covering Mapangyong and Laang Lakes with surrounding swamps and rivers, "one of the highest elevation freshwater wetlands in the world" and a source of the Yalu Tsangpo/Brahmaputra River. It is a spawning and survival habitat for Tibetan plateau endemic fish species Schizopygopsis microcephalus and Triplophysa stewarti and supports large populations of the vulnerable Black-necked Crane Grus nigricollis and the endangered Chiru or Tibetan antelope Pantholops hodgsoni, and Snow leopard Uncia uncia. Records between 2008 and 2010 show that the area supports about 80,000 waterbirds annually. Vegetation is dominated by subalpine desert grasslands such as Stipa glareosa with alpine meadow composed of Stipa purpurea, Carex moorcroftii, Poa annua and Caragana versicolor distributed between 4,700-5,000m asl. The lake, situated beside the holy mountain Kang Rinpoche, is a holy place in Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism and "Black Buddhism" and attracts hundreds of devotees and tourists every year. Local herdsmen use the surrounding wetlands for grazing. Since the area was designated as a Ramsar Site in 2004, several conservation and restoration projects were carried out to improve the protection and signage at the Site, for a total investment of 4.7 million USD. Each year, around 10,000 people visit the site. Ramsar site No. 1439. Most recent RIS information: 2012

Administrative region: 
Tibet Autonomous Region

  • National legal designation: 
    • National Forest Park
  • Last publication date: 


Ramsar Information Sheet (RIS)