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.
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:
China; Mongolia; Russian Federation
Regionally extinct:
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.
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).

Errata [top]

Errata reason: This errata assessment has been created because the map was accidentally left out of the version published previously.

Classifications [top]

8. Desert -> 8.2. Desert - Temperate
suitability:Marginal season:resident 
4. Grassland -> 4.4. Grassland - Temperate
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:Yes
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management
3. Species management -> 3.1. Species management -> 3.1.1. Harvest management
3. Species management -> 3.1. Species management -> 3.1.2. Trade management
5. Law & policy -> 5.1. Legislation -> 5.1.2. National level
5. Law & policy -> 5.4. Compliance and enforcement -> 5.4.2. National level
5. Law & policy -> 5.4. Compliance and enforcement -> 5.4.3. Sub-national level

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Action Recovery plan:No
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
11. Climate change & severe weather -> 11.2. Droughts
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:Causing/Could cause fluctuations ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 5 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

11. Climate change & severe weather -> 11.3. Temperature extremes
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Majority (50-90%) ♦ severity:Causing/Could cause fluctuations ⇒ Impact score:Medium Impact: 6 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

4. Transportation & service corridors -> 4.1. Roads & railroads
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:Causing/Could cause fluctuations ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 5 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.2. Species disturbance

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Majority (50-90%) ♦ severity:Slow, Significant Declines ⇒ Impact score:Medium Impact: 6 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

6. Human intrusions & disturbance -> 6.3. Work & other activities
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:Negligible declines ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 4 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.2. Species disturbance

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

Ito, Y. T., Miura, N., Lhagvasuren, B., Enkhbileg, D., Takatsuki, S., Tsunekawa, A. and Jiang, Z. 2005. Preliminary Evidence of a Barrier Effect of a Railroad on the Migration of Mongolian Gazelles. Conservation Biology 19(3): 945-948.

IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-3. Available at: (Accessed: 07 December 2016).

IUCN. 2017. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2017-1. Available at:

Jiang, Z., Jiang, J., Wang, Y., Zhang, E., Zhang, Y., Li, L., Xie, F., Cai, B., Cao, L., Zheng, G., Dong, L., Zhang, Z., Ding, P., Luo, Z., Ding, C., Ma, Z., Tang, S., Cao, W., Li, C., Hu, H., Ma, Y., Wu, Y., Wang, Y., Zhou, K., Liu, S., Chen, Y., Li, J., Feng, Z., Wang, Y., Wang, B., Li, C., Song, X., Cai, L., Zang, C., Zeng, Y., Meng, Z., Fang, H. and Ping, X. 2016. Red List of China's Vertebrates (in Chinese and English). Biodiversity Science 24: 500-552.

Lhagvasuren, B. and Milner-Gulland, E. J. 1997. The status and management of the Mongolian gazelle Procapra gutturosa population. Oryx 31: 127-134.

Milner-Gulland, E. J. and Lhagvasuren, B. 1998. Population Dynamics of the Mongolian Gazelle Procapra gutturosa: A Historical Analysis. Journal of Applied Ecology 35: 240-251.

Nyamsuren, D., Joly, D. O., Enkhtuvshin, S., Odonkhuu, D., Olson, K. A., Draisma, M. and Karesh, W. B. 2006. Exposure of Mongolian gazelles (Procapra gutturosa) to foot and mouth disease virus. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 42(1): 154-158.

Okada, A., Ito, T.Y., Buuveibaatar, B., Lhagvasuren, B. and Tsunekawa, A. 2015. Genetic structure in Mongolian gazelles based on mitochondrial and microsatellite markers. Mammalian Biology 80(4): 303-311.

Olson, K.A., Fuller, T.K., Schaller, G.B., Odonkhuu, D. and Murray, M.G. 2005. Estimating the population density of Mongolian gazelles Procapra gutturosa by driving long-distance transects. Oryx 39(2): 164-169.

Schaller, G. B. and Lkhagvasuren, B. 1998. A Disease Outbreak in Mongolian Gazelles. Gnusletter 17: 18.

Sokolov, V. E. and Lushchekina, A. A. 1997. Procapra gutturosa. Mammalian Species 571: 1-5.

Zahler, P., Lkhagvasuren, B., Reading, R.P., Wingard, G.J., Amgalanbaatar, S., Gombobaatar, S., Barton, N. and Onon, Yo. 2004. Illegal and Unsustainable Wildlife Hunting and Trade in Mongolia. Mongolian Journal of Biological Sciences 2(1): 23-31.

Citation: IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group. 2016. Procapra gutturosa. In: (errata version published in 2017) The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T18232A115142812. . Downloaded on 25 May 2017.
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