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Cause of Tibetan Antelope Migration Found

Wildlife scientists have found that some specific groups of Tibetan antelopes migrate northward every May to give birth to babies in northwest China.

The discovery was made by George Schaller, from New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), and 10 Chinese scientists during a survey from June 10 to July 20 this year at the western Kunlun Mountain range.


In mid-June, the Tibetan antelopes from the Qiangtang Nature Reserve in Tibet gathered at a highland with an elevation of 5,000 meters at the western Kunlun Mountains in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, to give birth to babies, according to the survey.


By July 5, due to heavy snowfall in the reproduction region, herds of Tibetan antelopes started to move southward with the newborns. By July 13, most of the migratory Tibetan antelopes had left the area and returned to Tibet, it said.


Schaller said he was not sure about the exact reproduction site in previous surveys, but found it this time.


Tibetan antelopes, which is on the state protection list for their uniqueness, are scattered around the 600,000 square kilometers of highland in Tibet, Qinghai and Xinjiang.


Due to rampant poaching, the animal's population shrank sharply last century.


(Xinhua News Agency August 4, 2005)



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