XINING — Chinese researchers have found a record number of Przewalski’s gazelle, an endangered species found only around a lake in Northwest China’s Qinghai province, during an annual large-scale survey this year.
The researchers recorded 2,793 gazelles during the survey from Aug 6 to 16, the most since the survey started in 2007, and 783 more than the number recorded last year, according to the administration of the Qinghai Lake National Nature Reserve.
The animals were found in four counties around the Qinghai Lake, including Gangca county where 1,651 gazelles were found.
Thanks to increasing conservation efforts of the local government and rising awareness of local herders, the population of the gazelle has been growing, said He Yubang, head of the administration.
Przewalski’s gazelle was named after a Russian adventurer who discovered the species more than 100 years ago. The gazelle is under the top level of national protection in China.
The species was once found in Inner Mongolia and Ningxia Hui autonomous regions and in Gansu and Qinghai provinces. However, it is now only found around the Qinghai Lake due to human activity and loss of habitats.
The government has led a major conservation effort to remove barbed wire fences in the region, once used to restrict the movement of livestock and mark ownership of the grassland. Previously, the fences killed many gazelles as they tried to jump them.