E03: The Tibetan Plateau is the subject of the third instalment. It covers one quarter of Chinaâ€™s land area, but just 2.5 million people live there, the majority Tibetan Buddhists. Their religion mixes traditional Buddhism with older shamanic beliefs, and its teachings have instilled a respectful attitude to wildlife. Rare species such as black-necked cranes and Tibetan eared pheasants can benefit directly from co-existence with people. Meltwaters from Tibetâ€™s 35,000 glaciers form large freshwater lakes including Qinghai and Manasarovar. Nesting birds here include great crested grebes and bar-headed geese. The plateau is a high altitude desert swept by freezing winds, but is also home to Chinaâ€™s biggest concentration of large animals. Argali sheep are seen descending hillsides to their winter grazing sites. In the Changtang, Chiru are filmed congregating in the rutting season, and wild yaks are only found in the remotest areas. Predators include the elusive snow leopard and the Tibetan fox, filmed profiting from a Tibetan bearâ€™s attempts to hunt pika. A highly lucrative 'caterpillar fungus' (yatsa gunbu) is harvested from the spring ground for use as a traditional remedy. Life even clings on in the most extreme environments; the slopes of Everest are home to a species of jumping spider, whilst the unique hot spring snake survives at 4,500m by warming its body in thermal springs. The Saga Dawa festival takes place at sacred Mount Kailash and draws pilgrims of many faiths. Tibet is a fragile ecosystem; its glaciers are melting, and this will have a profound effect on the future for billions of people who depend on waters flowing from the plateau.