Listed as a Nat­u­ral Cul­tural Her­itage Site in 2003 Lo­ca­tion: Cross­ing Li­jiang Pre­fec­ture, Diqing Ti­betan Au­ton­o­mous Pre­fec­ture and Nu­jiang Lisu Au­ton­o­mous Pre­fec­ture, Yu­nan Prov­ince, south­west China Best Time to Visit: Any­time

ChinAfrica - - Lifestyle -

Lo­cated in the moun­tain­ous ar­eas in the north­west part of Yun­nan Prov­ince in China, the Three Par­al­lel Rivers of Yun­nan Pro­tected Ar­eas is a nat­u­ral se­rial prop­erty con­sist­ing of 15 pro­tected ar­eas, grouped into eight clus­ters rang­ing 1.7 mil­lion hectares.

The ar­eas fea­ture a spec­tac­u­lar nat­u­ral land­scape ex­hibit­ing three rivers run­ning ap­prox­i­mately par­al­lel north to south for some 170 km. The rivers are the Jin­sha, Nu­jiang and Lan­cang, all orig­i­nated from the Qing­hai-ti­bet Plateau. At the near­est lo­ca­tion, the Jin­sha River is 66 km as the crow flies from the Lan­cang River whose short­est dis­tance from Nu­jiang River is less than 19 km.

Lo­cated in the con­ver­gent re­gions of the world’s three ma­jor bio­geo­graphic realms, the site is in an epi­cen­ter of Chi­nese bio­di­ver­sity. It con­tains an out­stand­ing di­ver­sity of land­scapes, such as deep-in­cised river gorges, lux­u­ri­ant forests, tow­er­ing snow-clad moun­tains, glaciers, and alpine karst, red­dish sand­stone land­forms, lakes and mead­ows over vast vis­tas.

With its pre­cious gene bank, the site has been ac­claimed as be­ing of world class im­por­tance. Though ac­count­ing for less than 0.4 per­cent of the area of the coun­try, the re­gion plays host to more than 20 per­cent of the coun­try’s most im­por­tant plant species and 25 per­cent of its an­i­mal species. To­day the re­gion is home to 77 an­i­mals un­der state-level pro­tec­tion in­clud­ing the Yun­nan golden mon­key, an­te­lope, snow leop­ard, Ben­gali tiger and black-necked crane.

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