99% of gazelles reside in Mongolia

  • By chagy5
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  • 2024-05-17
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99% of gazelles reside in Mongolia

The ecologists of Mongolia, led by the senior researcher at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), B.Buuveibaatar conducted research aimed at determining the number of gazelles in the world, and published their scientific article at FirstView in Oryx. 

The study presents the first nearly range-wide estimate of Mongolian gazelle populations obtained from ground-based surveys across Mongolia and Russia, supplemented with anecdotal accounts of their status in China. The findings underscore Mongolia’s essential role as a stronghold for gazelles, hosting approximately 99 percent of the global population, estimated at around 2.14 million. These results indicate that Mongolian gazelles are one of the most numerous open-plain ungulates on the planet. They also determined that there are more than 30,000 gazelles in Russia, and 500-1,000 in China. 

B.Buuveibaatar stresses the importance of adopting comprehensive management strategies to mitigate threats and preserve gazelle populations. “With the vast population size and extensive range of gazelles in Mongolia, a broad range of management options remain viable,” said B.Buuveibaatar. 

Moreover, the Director of Hustai National Park, Tserendeleg Dashpurev said, “Globally, these vast herds of gazelles that still roam the Mongolian steppe are a unique phenomenon and the sheer size of the herds and their long-distance movements are unique”. The findings presented in Oryx represent a clarion call for action, urging stakeholders to collaborate and implement targeted conservation strategies to protect gazelles and their habitats. About the study, Oryx said, “This is the first large-scale estimate of the distribution of the gazelle population in the near future. This study confirmed that the gazelle is one of the most abundant open-dwelling animals. However, in the future, it is necessary to implement better management and constant monitoring and control to detect negative human-caused activities that may require protective measures”. 

WCS Mongolia along with partners are currently working in Eastern Mongolia to safeguard the species. The team is monitoring the status and movement of Mongolian gazelles, gaining a clear understanding of their nomadic routes and key important routes to safeguard. 

Furthermore, the Mongolian gazelle is a medium sized gazelle with a stocky appearance. It grows up to 150 cm in length, stands up to 80 cm at the shoulder, and weighs up to 40 kg. Its coat is reddish-yellow in the summer, becoming lighter in the winter, and it has a light colored tail and a white patch on the rump. Male gazelles have horns which curve gently backwards from the forehead. This species may be found from across the east and south-east of Mongolia. This includes Dornod, Dornogovi, Dundgovi, Khentii, Sukhbaatar, and Umnugovi provinces. They are occasionally found in Tuv Province as well. These huge herds migrate seasonally in search of good pasture and water sources. They prefer steppe and desert steppe habitats with some vegetation.