Friday, May 15, 2009

Mongolian gazelles

There's been a report about a couple of naturalists having seen a herd of a quarter of a million Mongolian gazelles (or зээр in Mongolian) in eastern Mongolia. I wasn't sure what to make of it first. Given that "recreational" hunting is the hobby of new Mongolians, I would've thought the gazelles would be a species under threat by now (they are a low-risk, near-threat species). The report is from 2007, so I don't know what the situation is like nowadays and I am not sure why it took the article 2 years to make it to the news. [Read the BBC article here]

But according to the Wildlife Convervation Society:
A survey was conducted of 80% of the Eastern Steppe region (~50% of the total gazelle range). Densities varied regionally between 3 and 11 gazelles/sq. km. The overall population was estimated at over one million Mongolian gazelles. [Link]
So it is, after all, a credible report. In other news, the presidential election is on the 24th of May.