J. Hales



Major Habitat Type

Temperate upland rivers

Drainages flowing into

Endorheic basin

Main rivers to other water bodies

The Qaidam basin has a number of salt lakes, including Keluke, Tuosu, Xiaochaidamu, and Tainjinair.



Qaidam is a basin located on the northeastern part of the Tibetan Plateau between the Quilian, Altun and Khunlun ranges. It occurs in the Qinghai Province in western China.

Description of endemic fishes

No endemic species

Justification for delineation

Delineations were determined using a bottom-up approach that employed both published and unpublished field data and expert assessment (Abell et al. 2008; Wu & Wu 1992). Qaidam basin is distinguished as an ecoregion since it is a large, high-altitude closed basin (M. Kottelat pers comm. 2006).


  • Abell, Robin,M.L. Thieme,C. Revenga,M. Bryer,M. Kottelat,N. Bogutskaya,B. Coad,N. Mandrak,S.C. Balderas,W. Bussing,M.L.J. Stiassny,P. Skelton,G.R. Allen,P. Unmack,A. Naseka,R. Ng,N. Sindorf,J. Robertson,E. Armijo,J.V. Higgins,T.J. Heibel,E. Wikramanayake, (2008). "Freshwater Ecoregions of the World: A New Map of Biogeographic Units for Freshwater Biodiversity Conservation" BioScience 58 (5) pp. 403-414.
  • Wu, Yunfei;Wu, Cuizhen (1992). "The fishes of the Qinghai-Xizang plateau" Chengdu, China: Sichuan Publishing House of Science and Technology.