Procapra przewalskii


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Procapra przewalskii
Species Authority: (Büchner, 1891)
Common Name(s):
English Przewalski's Gazelle, Gazelle De Przewalski, Gacela De Przewalski
Taxonomic Notes: Has been considered a subspecies of Procapra picticaudata but species status is unanimously agreed. Genetic analysis shows the taxon is closer to the Mongolian Gazelle P. gutturosa than to P. picticaudata.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered C2a(i) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Mallon, D.P. (Antelope Red List Authority) & Hoffmann, M. (Global Mammal Assessment)
Latest estimates of numbers, taking into account the most recently discovered populations, suggest the number of mature individuals is 350-400 and possibly even higher, thus raising the species above the threshold for Critically Endangered under criterion C1 as used previously. Revised assessment as EN C2a(i) is based on the number of mature individuals 250 mature individuals. However, overall population size remains small and is not far from the CR threshold; subpopulations are isolated and still face a set of threats. Thus, the conservation situation remains serious and regular monitoring of numbers and population trends is essential.
2003 Critically Endangered (IUCN 2003)
2003 Critically Endangered
1996 Critically Endangered
1994 Insufficiently Known (Groombridge 1994)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Formerly occurred in western China from Qinghai Lake through Gansu to Ningxia and Ordos. Now confined to six isolated subpopulations around Qinghai Lake: Bird Island on the western side; Shadao-Gahai and Hudong-Ketu on the east; Yuanzhe on the south-east; near Gonghe across the mountians on the south side of the lake, and west of Tianjun, about 120 km north-west of the lake. The last two subpopulations were discovered in 2003 during surveys by scientists from the Chinese Academy of Science’s NW Institute of Plateau Biology and Institute of Zoology. Subsequent studies have confirmed that they represent separate subpopulations and not instances of nomadic groups of gazelles moving around the area.
China (Gansu - Regionally Extinct, Qinghai)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: A thorough survey in September 2003 provisionally estimated a population of 500-600, an increase from earlier estimates. Subsequent work by IOZ, WCS, and others have confirmed this figure and revised it upwards to 700-800. There is a possibility that the total could be even higher.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Przewalski’s Gazelle inhabits steppe plateaux and open valleys, including broken and undulating terrain of stabilised dunes containing steppe vegetation. The habitat of the remaining population around Qinghai Lake lies at elevations of 3,194–5,174 m (Jiang and Wang 2001).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Gazelles on the eastern shore of Qinghai Lake have been fenced out of their main feeding grounds since 1994, and the population on the western shore declined from 37 to seven between 1992 and 1998 (Jiang et al. 2000). Most of their habitat has already been lost to the increasing human population, farming activities, and desertification. Predation by wolves (Canis lupus), especially in areas of dense fencing, appears to also be having a negative impact (Jiang and Wang 2001). Subpopulations are quite isolated and movement between them is increasingly difficult owing to intensive land use and physical barriers.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Protected by law as a Category I species in China. There are several new Forest Police posts within the remaining area of distribution and illegal hunting is no longer an important factor. One subpopulation occurs in Bird Island (Niao Dao) National Nature Reserve (Jiang and Wang 2001). The species is now regarded as a conservation priority by national and provincial governments.

Citation: IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group 2008. Procapra przewalskii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 27 March 2015.
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