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