Tibetan antelopes breeding season peaks in NW China

The Tibetan antelope in Hoh Xil has reached the peak of its breeding season, according to the authority from Sanjiangyuan National Park. Currently, over 30,000 female antelopes are found in the Zonag Lake area, one of the major "delivery rooms" for the animal.

The first group of 26 antelopes passed through the Qinghai-Xizang highway on April 26 en route to Zonag Lake and other breeding areas in Hoh Xil. Although rain and snow have slowed the migration of Tibetan antelope flocks, the Zonag Lake area is now covered with pregnant antelopes. 

In 2021, a Chinese expedition team found four new breeding areas of Tibetan antelopes, each holding 2,000 to 4,000 antelopes, in southwest China's Xizang Autonomous Region with the help of an intelligent video surveillance system.

Tens of thousands of pregnant Tibetan antelopes migrate to Hoh Xil every May to give birth after mating in November or December. They then depart with their offspring in August. The reason the animal travels such a great distance to breed each year is still a mystery.

The once-endangered species, which is under first-class state protection in China, is mostly found in the Xizang Autonomous Region, Qinghai Province and the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

The Tibetan antelope population drastically dropped from 200,000 to 20,000 in the 1980s due to illegal hunting. However, it has recovered, thanks to the ban on illegal hunting and the measures put in place to improve its habitat.

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