En­dan­gered gazelle grow­ing in num­bers

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By XIN­HUA in Xin­ing

There are now more than 1,400 Prze­wal­ski’s gazelle, a species even more en­dan­gered than the gi­ant panda, liv­ing around a lake in North­west China’s Qing­hai province, its only habi­tat. Ac­cord­ing to a sur­vey by Qing­hai Lake Na­tional Na­ture Re­serve, there are 1,464 gazelle liv­ing around the lake, about 200 more than the num­ber recorded last year.

He Yubang, who works at the re­serve, said the sur­vey, which was con­ducted in Au­gust, recorded 324 fawns born this year and 1,140 older gazelle, in­clud­ing 445 males and 695 fe­males.

“This is a record high since our sur­veys be­gan,” He said.

Years of pro­tec­tion has seen the gazelle pop­u­la­tion quadru­ple in the past 20 years and low­ered its sta­tus on the In­ter­na­tional Union for Con­ser­va­tion of Na­ture Red List of Threat­ened Species from “crit­i­cally en­dan­gered” to “en­dan­gered”.

The lo­cal gov­ern­ment has set up wa­ter­ing holes and sup­plied food in the win­ter, as well as dis­man­tling barbed wire fences, once used to re­strict the move­ment of live­stock and mark own­er­ship of grass­land, which have killed many gazelle’s try­ing to jump over them.

The pro­vin­cial forestry au­thor­i­ties tore down 515,000 me­ters of fenc­ing or barbed wire across four coun­ties around the lake be­tween 2009 and last year, and low­ered the height of the re­main­ing fences from 1.5 me­ters to 1.2 me­ters.

WU GANG / XIN­HUA

A cou­ple of Prze­wal­ski’s gazelle run in Qing­hai province in June last year.

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