Upper Brahmaputra




J. Hales


India, Claimed by China

Major Habitat Type

Tropical and subtropical upland rivers

Drainages flowing into

Bay of Bengal



This ecoregion includes the Brahmaputra (Tsang Po, Yalung Zangbo) basin in China.

Freshwater habitats

This is a high altitude river that flows through a series of gorges and onto the Ganges plain.

Description of endemic fishes

5 endemic species

Justification for delineation

For Southeast Asia, delineations were determined using a bottom-up approach that employed both published and unpublished field data and expert assessment (Abell et al. 2008; Wu & Wu 1992). This ecoregion is distinguished from neighboring ecoregions primarily due to different fauna from the southern part of the Brahmaputra and different fauna from the Himalayan Plateau.  There are also differences in topography and climate from the lower Brahmaputra. This large river is distinguished from the rest of the Tibetan Plateau, which comprises smaller rivers (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.