Tibet has a sparse population and the residents live relatively concentrated. There are uninhabited areas with hundreds of thousands of square kilometers and inaccessible primitive forest areas in Tibet.
In the past 40 years, one of the main tasks of Tibetan environmental protection was to set up nature reserves. Through 40 years of hard work, visible success has been achieved in establishing and building the Tibetan nature reserves. Since 1970s, the Tibet Autonomous Region has increased financial input to protect animals and plants and has prohibited hunting in these areas where rare animals live and breed. In the 1980s, Tibet started planning nature reserves. From 1982 to 1985, the government of the Tibet Autonomous Region established seven nature reserves: Medog, Chayu, Gangxiang in Bome, Bajie in Linzhi, Zhangmu Valley, Jiangcun and Qomolangma. Among of them, Medog and Qomolangma are listed as national nature reserves. In 1993, the Tibet Autonomous Region government approved the establishment of 6 nature reserves mainly for the protection of wild animals, including Qiangtang, Xainza, Yanjing, Dongjiu, Changmaoling and Pengbo.
At present, there are 13 national or regional nature reserves in Tibet. The total area of these reserves is 325800 square kilometers, which occupies 26.5% of the total area of Tibet Autonomous Region and 50% of the total area of the nature reserves in China.
China's nature reserves are divided into three categories and nine types: ecological nature reserves, including 5 types - forests, steppes, deserts, inland wetlands, and waters; wildlife reserves, including 2 types - reserves for wild animals and wild plants; natural relics, including geographic and paleontological nature reserves. With the largest number of nature reserves in China, Tibet has a full range of existing and planned nature reserves. There are more than 164 species of wild animals and plants under state protection in Tibet, 16 species of which are protected by the Tibet Autonomous Region. More than 40 species of animals and plants are living only on the Tibet-Qinghai Plateau and in the Himalayas.