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The Qinghai-Tibet Railway, stretching in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (青藏高原), is the longest railroad in the world at the highest altitude. Starting from Xining in Qinghai and ending in Lhasa in Tibet, runs for 1,956 km.
The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is one of three areas in China with the most fragile ecological environment. With an average elevation of over 4,600 meters, it is home to Tibetan antelopes (藏羚羊), yaks, white-lipped deer, snow leopards and black-necked cranes, all of which are under state first-level protection.
Based on close studies of the animals’regular habitats and patterns of procreation (繁殖) and migration, 33 passages have been opened for the seasonal migrations of the animals.
The Tibetan antelope is listed in the IUCN (国际自然与自然资源保护联合会) Red List as a threatened species. Hoh Xil Nature Reserve is one of the nature reserves which were set up by the central government to protect these antelopes. Each year, Tibetan antelopes migrate to the northern area with a cooler climate and rich water and grass resources to lamb in June-July and return with their offspring in August. The Qinghai-Tibet Railway lies right in their path. In June, 2002, in order to let some 30,000 future mother antelopes pass the construction site without disturbance, the workers shut down their machines and pulled down their sign boards and sign flags. They stopped working for four days to make way for them. In August, when these Tibetan antelopes returned with their children, they stopped working once again. Moreover, the builders do their best to reduce noise in areas close to nature reserves.
So far, the number of Tibetan antelopes in China has climbed to over 80,000.
fragile adj. easily destroyed or spoilt 脆弱的
offspring n. the young of an animal幼崽
1. The total length of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway is ______.
2. Tibetan antelopes usually go to the northern area to lamb in ______ and return with their offspring in ______.
(Key: 1. 1,956 km 2. June-July; August)