Angsai "Valley of the Cats" is an unspoiled wildlife habitat on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. It is located in Angsai Township, Zaduo County, Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province. The 22 Nomadic host families here believe in Tibetan Buddhism. The concept of admiring all beings makes people, wildlife and nature coexist harmoniously here.
The top carnivores here--such as snow leopards, common leopards, brown bears，and lynxes--are among the best in the world.
Angsai is located in the core area of Lancang River Park and is a part of Sanjiangyuan National Park. Entry into Angsai is strictly controlled, all visitors need to apply for permits and obtain government approvals before entering. Starting in 2019, Valley of the Cats Nature Watch has been approved by the Sanjiangyuan National Park Administration and become the first batch of franchise pilots. Nature watch participants can enter Angsai Township through the approval of the Angsai Management Station.
昂赛社区 Angsai Community
昂赛乡总面积为 1682.85 平方千米，下辖年都村、热情村、苏绕村。截至 2020年末，全乡户籍人口共8000余人，主要为藏族居民，当地常用语言为藏语。当地人饲养牲畜以牦牛为主，收入的主要来源为冬虫夏草。
The total area of Angsai Township is 1,682.85 square kilometers, and it has jurisdiction over Niandu Village, Reqing Village, and Surao Village. As of the end of 2020, the township has a registered population of more than 8,000 people, mainly Tibetan ethnic minority. The local language is Tibetan, yak is the main kind of livestock and caterpillar fungus generates most income for local people.
Due to various reasons, most of the families in Angsai are moving to Zaduo County and Yushu Prefecture, where life is more convenient, while those who are staying live the traditional nomadic life and herd yaks. Picking up yak dung, herding yaks, milking, and making yogurt and ghee (yak butter), pastoral life revolves around livestock. Every summer,from May to September, the families move to live in tents on the higher mountains and let the yak and sheep eat fresh grass. In mid-September they will move back to their winter houses down the valley. This allows the livestock to eat remaining grass in the lower land when the mountain tops are covered with snow in winter.
There are only a few roads in Angsai. Except for the road from the national road to the township government, the others are dirt roads or gravel roads. There is no centralized water supply or electrical grid in the valley. Most households use portable solar pannels to generate electricity. Drinking water is drawn from nearby creeks or their own wells. Everything remains quite pristine.
Since 2015, the Angsai community has joined in community-based conservation. From community monitoring to nature watch festivals to Human-wildlife conflicts to the current nature watch project, the people of Angsai have became the indispensable force for the nature conservation here.
At present, infrared camera taps used for scientific research and monitoring in Angsai are operated and maintained by 78 community members; the One Ranger per Household system also allows every household to have national park rangers who are responsible for anti-poaching patrols and garbage cleaning in the township.
山水自然保护中心 Shan Shui Conservation Center
Shan Shui Conservation Center is established in 2007 and is a Chinese NGO dedicated to biodiversity conservation. Since 2009, Shan Shui has carried out community-based conservation work in the Sanjiangyuan area to protect the ecosystem and local flagship species such as snow leopards, Chinese mountain cats, and black-necked cranes. Since 2015, Shanshui has cooperated with Angsai community to explore various conservation activities, such as the Human-wildlife Conflict fund, stray dog management, community monitoring, and the nature watch project which is demonstrated here on this website. These projects have gradually raised the awareness of local people about nature protection, and also increased their motivation and confidence in protection. In nature watch project, Shan Shui Conservation Center serves as technical support to provide the community with assistance including training, system establishment, publicity and promotion, accompanying the community to growing stronger.