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Procapra gutturosa 

Scope: Global
Language: English
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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Cetartiodactyla Bovidae

Scientific Name: Procapra gutturosa
Species Authority: (Pallas, 1777)
Common Name(s):
English Mongolian Gazelle, Dzeren
French Gazelle de la Mongolie
Spanish Gacela de Mongolia
Taxonomic Notes: Procapra gutturosa has not given rise to distinct geographic races. Specimens from the Mongolian Altai are indistinguishable from those of eastern Mongolia and hence the subspecies P. g. altaica described from Bayan-Tsagan-Gobi is not accepted (Sokolov and Lushchekina 1997).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-07-05
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Cooke, R.
Contributor(s): Mallon, D.
Justification:
Population estimates for Mongolian Gazelle over the last 10 years have ranged from 400,000 to 2,700,000. The taxon is subject to population fluctuations due to disease and effects of severe winter conditions. However, several recent authorities agree on a figure of approximately 1,000,000 and the range is expanding towards the north-west. Annual monitoring of the status of this species is required as an upsurge in illegal hunting in conjunction with adverse climatic conditions or outbreak of disease could result in a sharp fall qualifying for a classification of Near Threatened or Vulnerable.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Procapra gutturosa occurs in eastern Mongolia and adjacent areas of Russia and north-eastern China. Smaller populations are still found in central and western Mongolia where they were previously abundant (Zahler et al. 2004). There is a translocated population on Homin Tal steppe in Zavkhan Province of west-central Mongolia. In the past 50 years, the geographic range of the Mongolian Gazelle has been reduced by about 76%. The vast majority of Mongolian Gazelles are now found in Mongolia itself; and within Mongolia the species is found in large numbers in only four provinces: Dornod, Khentii, Sukhbaatar and Dornogobi (Lhagvasuren and Milner-Gulland 1997) and in smaller numbers in other provinces.
Countries occurrence:
Native:
China; Mongolia; Russian Federation
Regionally extinct:
Kazakhstan
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Population estimates over the last 10 years have ranged from 400,000 to 2,700,000. The taxon is subject to population fluctuations due to disease and effects of severe winter conditions. However, several recent authorities agree on a figure of approximately 1,000,000 in Mongolia (ca 500,000-1,500,00) (Zahler et al. 2004, Olson et al. 2005), though some experts still believe this figure is too high. Most of the current population is found in the eastern Mongolian steppes. Smaller populations are found in central and western Mongolia. Some move south into China in winter where at one time up to 250,000 may occurred. Numbers in China have been greatly reduced by hunting and expansion of agriculture and livestock grazing and it is considered Critically Endangered in the national Red List (Jiang et al. 2016).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:500000-1500000Continuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Inhabits rolling arid steppes and grassy plains; in particular feather grass (Stipa spp.) steppes and sometimes semi-deserts (Sokolov and Lushchekina 1997). Mongolian Gazelles move constantly over their range in search of food, except during the rutting and birthing seasons.
Systems:Terrestrial
Generation Length (years):4.2
Movement patterns:Nomadic
Congregatory:Congregatory (year-round)

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The species is harvested for meat, hides and use of body parts (horn, liver, heart, lungs, kidneys and fat) in Asian medicine. Locally the tanned hides are used to produce chamois and the horns are made into handles for knives and various household articles (Sokolov and Lushchekina 1997). From the horns of young Mongolian Gazelles, the Institute of National Medicine under the Ministry of Public Health of the Mongolian People's Republic produced a drug named 'procaprin', which is said to exert sedative and tonic effects (Lhagvasuren and Milner-Gulland 1997, Sokolov and Lushchekina 1997). Former tight control in Mongolia has weakened during the last decade and tens of thousands (80-85 per cent of which are thought to be males) are killed illegally on top of the official harvest (Lhagvasuren and Milner-Gulland 1997). A hunting survey found that local herders in the eastern steppe region alone take as many as 150,000 gazelles annually (K. Olson, pers. comm. in Zahler et al. 2004). Above the total sustainable off-take of 6% a year, or 60,000 gazelles, that harvest models suggest (Milner-Gulland and Lhagvasuren 1998). This hunting could be exacerbated if there is a commercial switch from Saiga to Mongolian Gazelle horns, and evidence for this ominous trend has been found in the recent increase in price for gazelle horns (Zahler et al. 2004).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The major threats to this species are disease outbreaks,  illegal hunting, habitat conversion, habitat fragmentation, and severe winters. Illegal hunting (in addition to the legal harvest) is an increasing threat and male-biased hunting before and during the rut could have serious consequences for the fecundity of the population (Lhagvasuren and Milner-Gulland 1997).

The Ulaanbaatar-Beijing railway is double-fenced and has effectively cut off the smaller western populations from the core population in eastern Mongolia (Ito et al. 2005), although the large population and high mobility of the species has allowed sufficient gene flow (Okada et al. 2015). Outbreaks of disease and severe winters result in sporadic heavy mortality. Increasing livestock numbers has led to an increase in associated disease transmission (e.g. bacterial pneumonia caused by Pasteurella, viral influenza, foot-and-mouth, and anthrax) (Lhagvasuren and Milner-Gulland 1997, Schaller and Lhagvasuren 1998, Nyamsuren et al. 2006). The distribution of Mongolian Gazelle is influenced by the activity of the vole Lasiopodomys brandtii. For example, in the 1990s a large increase in the L. brandtii population destroyed a huge area of pasture in Sukhbaatar and Dornod provinces and the gazelles disappeared from these areas and moved north (Lhagvasuren and Milner-Gulland 1997).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Occurs in some protected areas in Mongolia but most of the population occurs outside these. Mongolian Gazelles are afforded legal protection in Mongolia and China, but enforcement is not fully effective. In 1988-1990, 600 new-born gazelles were translocated to the Homin Tal steppe in Zavkhan Province of west-central Mongolia, where the population had dropped to 600 individuals and by 1996 this population had increased to more than 3,500 (Lhagvasuren and Milner-Gulland 1997). Some populations in west and central Mongolia are at risk of local extinction. The species is listed on Appendix II of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS).

Citation: IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group. 2016. Procapra gutturosa. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T18232A50193126. . Downloaded on 09 December 2016.
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