Feb. 20, 2017 -- Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon in Tibet is the largest and deepest canyon in China, and it's regarded as a paradise for unusual plants and animals. Chinese scientists recently spent three months exploring the canyon and collecting different kinds of plant seeds for further research.
Many plants in the region are nearing extinction, so the research could prove vital to preserving them. And the scientists also unearthed five new species of plant during their work.
Preliminary studies suggest there are more than 3,768 plant species, 680 species of large fungi, 232 varieties of birds, 31 varieties of amphibians, and 2,000 varieties of insects in the canyon.
The Yarlung Zangpo River starts at Mount Kailash before reaching the juncture of Mainling and Medog counties, where it swerves around towering Namjagbarwa, the highest peak in the eastern section of the Himalayas, carving a U-shaped gorge. The canyon is home to many animals and plants barely explored and affected by human influence, while its climate ranges from subtropical to Arctic.
To maintain the area's ecological balance, experts from various local government agencies and institutions have divided the Yarlung Zangbo area into seven zones.
In February 2008, the Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon in Nyingchi prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region, opened to tourists from home and abroad.