There were no instances of armed poaching last year in Hoh Xil in northwest China, a key habitat for endangered Tibetan antelopes, according to local officials.
File photo: Tibetan antelopes in the Hoh Xil Nature Reserve
Nearly 30 campaigns were conducted in 2007, in which police inspected some 70,000 kilometers to protect the rare animal from hunters, said Cega, director of the Hoh Xil Nature Reserve Administration, which is based in Qinghai Province.
The population of Tibetan antelopes in Hoh Xil has expanded by 200 percent in the past 10 years and now stands at about 60,000, according to recent reports.
A rare species seen only in China, Tibetan antelopes are targeted by poachers, since their fur is used in shawls that sell for up to US$11,000 in North America and Europe.
Extensive hunting has drastically reduced the antelope population, from hundreds of thousands early in the last century to just around 70,000 to 100,000 today. The 45,000-sq km Hoh Xil reserve lies at the juncture of Qinghai, Tibet Autonomous Region and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. It is also home to wild yak, Tibetan wild ass and other species.
(Xinhua News Agency January 14, 2008)