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The King of Tibetan Antelope
The King of Tibetan Antelope
Published: 2016/07/23
Channel: Family Pack
Chinese Scientists Witness Tibetan Antelopes
Chinese Scientists Witness Tibetan Antelopes' Life or Death Migration
Published: 2016/08/14
Channel: CCTV+
A Shawl to die for: Shahtoosh weaving and the decline of Chiru the Tibetan Antelope
A Shawl to die for: Shahtoosh weaving and the decline of Chiru the Tibetan Antelope
Published: 2013/10/31
Channel: Wildlife Trust of India
Tibetan antelope: Warriors of the wild
Tibetan antelope: Warriors of the wild
Published: 2013/07/01
Channel: CCTV English
Tibetan Antelope Fighting For Survival
Tibetan Antelope Fighting For Survival
Published: 2015/08/03
Channel: chinaexplorers
China
China's Tibetan antelope population tripled since 1980s
Published: 2015/06/04
Channel: New China TV
Abandoned Tibetan antelopes survive in winter
Abandoned Tibetan antelopes survive in winter
Published: 2016/12/05
Channel: New China TV
The Tibetan Antelope Or Chiru Fights Over Female
The Tibetan Antelope Or Chiru Fights Over Female
Published: 2017/11/01
Channel: VID NOW
Guardians for Tibetan Antelopes: Heros in "Forbidden Zone"
Guardians for Tibetan Antelopes: Heros in "Forbidden Zone"
Published: 2017/11/01
Channel: China Daily
Tens of thousands of migrating Tibetan antelope filmed crossing a river
Tens of thousands of migrating Tibetan antelope filmed crossing a river
Published: 2013/07/28
Channel: ODN
Tibetan Antelope Calving Ground
Tibetan Antelope Calving Ground
Published: 2013/12/23
Channel: chinaexplorers
A Shawl To Die For
A Shawl To Die For
Published: 2009/10/22
Channel: dustyfootproductions
Tibetan antelopes give birth at Zhuonai Lake
Tibetan antelopes give birth at Zhuonai Lake
Published: 2013/07/01
Channel: CCTV English
Tibetan antelope 中国藏羚羊 動保问题 China living problem Chinese people
Tibetan antelope 中国藏羚羊 動保问题 China living problem Chinese people
Published: 2017/09/07
Channel: Chineseaction 中國行動
China
China's first winter expedition on Tibetan antelopes
Published: 2014/01/16
Channel: CGTN
Over 30 000 Tibetan Antelopes Give Birth At Peak
Over 30 000 Tibetan Antelopes Give Birth At Peak
Published: 2013/07/02
Channel: wendy smith
Tibetan antelope - Video Learning - WizScience.com
Tibetan antelope - Video Learning - WizScience.com
Published: 2015/09/04
Channel: Wiz Science™
The King of Tibetan Antelope
The King of Tibetan Antelope
Published: 2016/02/24
Channel: 饶伟峰
CERS - Tibetan Antelope Animation
CERS - Tibetan Antelope Animation
Published: 2012/01/19
Channel: chinaexplorers
Tibetan Antelopes Travel to Develop Evolutionary Fitness
Tibetan Antelopes Travel to Develop Evolutionary Fitness
Published: 2013/07/09
Channel: NTDTV
Thousands of Tibetan antelope filmed crossing a river
Thousands of Tibetan antelope filmed crossing a river
Published: 2013/11/18
Channel: rama venkata
Men detained after suspiciously driving after Tibetan antelopes
Men detained after suspiciously driving after Tibetan antelopes
Published: 2017/10/07
Channel: CGTN
China Deploys Unmanned Aerial Devices for Tracking Tibetan Antelopes
China Deploys Unmanned Aerial Devices for Tracking Tibetan Antelopes
Published: 2016/08/11
Channel: CCTV+
Tibet The Story of Tsoe / Tibetan Antelope (Part 2/2)
Tibet The Story of Tsoe / Tibetan Antelope (Part 2/2)
Published: 2012/01/01
Channel: TA
LIVE birth Tibetan antelopes
LIVE birth Tibetan antelopes
Published: 2013/06/27
Channel: Zoomin.TV Animals
Tibetan Antelope- Chiru.
Tibetan Antelope- Chiru.
Published: 2007/05/16
Channel: vampira142
New The King of Tibetan Antelope
New The King of Tibetan Antelope
Published: 2016/02/24
Channel: 饶伟峰
Hoh Xil Tibetan antelope Conservation 中國武警 可可西里 保護 藏羚羊
Hoh Xil Tibetan antelope Conservation 中國武警 可可西里 保護 藏羚羊
Published: 2017/11/07
Channel: Chineseaction 中國行動
Chinese scientists endeavor to reveal mystery of Tibetan antelope migration
Chinese scientists endeavor to reveal mystery of Tibetan antelope migration
Published: 2017/09/06
Channel: New China TV
Tibet The Story of Tsoe / Tibetan Antelope (Part 1/2)
Tibet The Story of Tsoe / Tibetan Antelope (Part 1/2)
Published: 2012/01/01
Channel: TA
Tibetan Antelopes
Tibetan Antelopes
Published: 2009/01/07
Channel: lundiyang
Pregnant Tibetan antelopes migrate early this year
Pregnant Tibetan antelopes migrate early this year
Published: 2015/05/22
Channel: New China TV
Tibetan Antelope-YouTube Widescreen
Tibetan Antelope-YouTube Widescreen
Published: 2008/12/09
Channel: IndianapolisPrize
New lives, new hope saving the Tibetan antelope
New lives, new hope saving the Tibetan antelope
Published: 2013/07/01
Channel: CCTV English
Tibet China Tibetan antelope 中国藏羚羊问题 China living problem Chinese people
Tibet China Tibetan antelope 中国藏羚羊问题 China living problem Chinese people
Published: 2017/09/07
Channel: Chineseaction 中國行動
Tours-TV.com: Tibetan antelope
Tours-TV.com: Tibetan antelope
Published: 2014/12/30
Channel: ToursTV Com
Save the Tibetan Antelope
Save the Tibetan Antelope
Published: 2006/06/14
Channel: Maaguaa
UNEP - Wild for Life - Li BingBing - Tibetan Antelope
UNEP - Wild for Life - Li BingBing - Tibetan Antelope
Published: 2017/03/03
Channel: UN Environment
Watch: The great migration of the Tibetan antelopes
Watch: The great migration of the Tibetan antelopes
Published: 2016/08/13
Channel: CGTN
UNEP - Wild for Life - Li BingBing - Tibetan Antelope - SPANISH
UNEP - Wild for Life - Li BingBing - Tibetan Antelope - SPANISH
Published: 2017/07/04
Channel: UN Environment
Watch: Tens of thousands of Tibetan antelopes migrate southwards
Watch: Tens of thousands of Tibetan antelopes migrate southwards
Published: 2016/08/10
Channel: CGTN
Both Tibetan antelopes and mice deserve a chance at life
Both Tibetan antelopes and mice deserve a chance at life
Published: 2017/03/08
Channel: guan zhong
Birthing season for Tibetan antelopes
Birthing season for Tibetan antelopes
Published: 2013/06/26
Channel: CCTV English
Saving the Antelopes --- Tibetan Antelopes
Saving the Antelopes --- Tibetan Antelopes
Published: 2008/04/12
Channel: Shiniebrightie
Save the Tibetan antelope
Save the Tibetan antelope
Published: 2006/07/05
Channel: bigredrooster
6610CC CHINA-TIBETAN ANTELOPE CALVING
6610CC CHINA-TIBETAN ANTELOPE CALVING
Published: 2013/07/01
Channel: BYNTVNews
Tibetan antelopes
Tibetan antelopes' route back home
Published: 2013/07/01
Channel: CCTV English
【点击中国】Chinese Touch: Tibetan antelope 藏羚羊
【点击中国】Chinese Touch: Tibetan antelope 藏羚羊
Published: 2017/09/11
Channel: VideoChinaTV
Tibetan Antelope
Tibetan Antelope
Published: 2015/08/09
Channel: wes chlee
Over 30,000 Tibetan antelopes give birth at peak
Over 30,000 Tibetan antelopes give birth at peak
Published: 2013/07/01
Channel: CCTV English
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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

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Tibetan antelope
Pantholops hodgsonii
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Genus: Pantholops
Hodgson, 1834[3]
Species: P. hodgsonii
Binomial name
Pantholops hodgsonii
(Abel, 1826)
Pantholops hodgsonii distribution.png

The Tibetan antelope or chiru (Pantholops hodgsonii)[4] (Tibetan: གཙོད་Wylie: gtsod, pronounced [tsǿ]; Chinese: 藏羚羊; pinyin: zàng língyáng) is a medium-sized bovid native to the Tibetan plateau. Fewer than 75,000 individuals are left in the wild.[1] In recent years, they have become endangered due to poaching. They are hunted for their soft and warm wool which is usually obtained after death. This wool is known as shahtoosh and is used to weave shawls . At present, international trade in their products is strictly prohibited.

Classification[edit]

The Tibetan antelope is the sole species in the genus Pantholops, named from the Greek for "all antelope". It was formerly classified in the Antilopinae subfamily, but morphological and molecular evidence led to it being placed in its own subfamily, Pantholopinae, closely allied to goat-antelopes of the subfamily Caprinae.[5] However, this has been disputed,[6] and some authors consider the Tibetan antelope to be a true member of the Caprinae.[7]

Although the genus Pantholops is currently monotypic, a fossil species, P. hundesiensis, is known from the Pleistocene of Tibet. It was slightly smaller than the living species, with a narrower skull.[8] In addition, the fossil genus Qurliqnoria, from the Miocene of China, is thought to be an early member of the Pantholopinae,[9] which diverged from the goat-antelopes around this time.[10]

Description[edit]

Tibetan antelope in the Changtang Nature Reserve

The Tibetan antelope is a medium-sized antelope, with a shoulder height of about 83 cm (33 in) in males, and 74 cm (29 in) in females. Males are significantly larger than females, weighing about 39 kg (86 lb), compared with 26 kg (57 lb), and can also be readily distinguished by the presence of horns and by black stripes on the legs, both of which the females lack. The coat is pale fawn to reddish-brown, with a whitish belly, and is particularly thick and woolly. The face is almost black in colour, with prominent nasal swellings that have a paler colour in males. In general, the colouration of males becomes more intense during the annual rut, with the coat becoming much paler, almost white, contrasting with the darker patterns on the face and legs.[10]

The males have long, curved-back horns that typically measure 54 to 60 cm (21 to 24 in) in length. The horns are slender, with ring-like ridges on their lower portions and smooth, pointed, tips. Although the horns are relatively uniform in length, there is some variation in their exact shape, so the distance between the tips can be quite variable, ranging from 19 to 46 cm (7.5 to 18.1 in). Unlike caprines, the horns do not grow throughout life. The ears are short and pointed, and the tail is also relatively short, at around 13 cm (5.1 in) in length.[10]

The fur of Tibetan antelopes is distinctive, and consists of long guard hairs and a silky undercoat of shorter fibres. The individual guard hairs are thicker than those of other goats, with unusually thin walls, and have a unique pattern of cuticular scales, said to resemble the shape of a benzene ring.[11]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Endemic to the Tibetan Plateau, the Tibetan antelope inhabits open alpine and cold steppe environments between 3,250 and 5,500 m (10,660 and 18,040 ft) elevation. They prefer flat, open terrain, with sparse vegetation cover. They are found almost entirely in China, where they inhabit Tibet, southern Xinjiang, and western Qinghai; a few are also found across the border in Ladakh, India. Today, the majority are found within the Chang Tang Nature Reserve of northern Tibet. The first specimens to be described, in 1826, were from Nepal; the species has apparently since been extirpated from the region.[1] No subspecies are recognised.

Behaviour[edit]

Use of the Chiru antlers in weapons of Tibetan Soldier about 1905

Tibetan antelope feed on forbs, grasses, and sedges, often digging through the snow to obtain food in winter. Their natural predators include wolves, lynx, and snow leopards, and red foxes are known to prey on young calves.[10][12]

Tibetan antelope are gregarious, sometimes congregating in herds hundreds strong when moving between summer and winter pastures, although they are more usually found in much smaller groups, with no more than 20 individuals.[10] The females migrate up to 300 km (190 mi) yearly to calving grounds in the summer, where they usually give birth to a single calf, and rejoin the males at the wintering grounds in late autumn.[13]

Reproduction[edit]

The rutting season lasts from November to December. Males form harems of up to 12 females, although one to four is more common, and drive off other males primarily by making displays or chasing them with head down, rather than sparring directly with their horns. Courtship and mating are both brief, without most of the behaviour typically seen in other antelope species, although males do commonly skim the thighs of females with a kick of their fore legs.[10]

Mothers give birth to a single calf in June or July, after a gestation period of about six months. The calves are precocial, being able to stand within 15 minutes of birth. They are fully grown within 15 months, and reach sexual maturity during their second or third year. Although females may remain with their mothers until they themselves give birth, males leave within 12 months, by which time their horns are beginning to grow. Males determine status by their relative horn length, with the maximum length being achieved at around three and a half years of age.[10]

Although the lifespan of Tibetan antelopes is not known with certainty, since so few have been kept in captivity,[14] it is probably around 10 years.[10]

Conservation[edit]

The antelope are killed for their wool, which is woven into the luxury fabric shahtoosh, threatening the species’ survival.

Tibetan antelope are listed as endangered by the World Conservation Union and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service due to commercial poaching for their underwool, competition with local domesticated herds, and the development of their rangeland for gold mining. The chiru's wool, known as shahtoosh, is warm, soft and fine. Although the wool can be obtained without killing the animal, poachers simply kill the chiru before taking the wool; their numbers have dropped accordingly from nearly a million (estimated) at the turn of the 20th century to less than 75,000 today. The numbers continue to drop yearly. The struggle to stop illegal antelope hunting was portrayed in the 2004 film, Kekexili: Mountain Patrol.

To develop testing for shahtoosh, a Hong Kong chemist and a senior forensic specialist looked at the material though a microscope. Using this method, they discovered shahtoosh contains coarser guard hairs unique to the species. By doing this, the duo had found a convenient way to prove this was poached material.[citation needed]

In July 2006, the Chinese government inaugurated a new railway that bisects the chiru's feeding grounds on its way to Lhasa, the Tibetan capital. In an effort to avoid harm to the animal, 33 special animal migration passages have been built beneath the railway. However, the railway will bring many more people, including potential poachers, closer to the chiru's breeding grounds and habitat.[citation needed]

On February 22, 2008, The Wall Street Journal Online reported China's state-run news agency, Xinhua, issued a public apology for publishing a doctored photograph of Tibetan antelope running near the Qinghai-Tibet railway. Liu Weiqing, a 41-year-old photographer, was identified as the author of the work. He had reportedly camped on the Tibetan plateau since March 2007, as part of a series by the Daqing Evening News, to raise awareness regarding the Tibetan bovid. He was also under contract to provide images to Xinhua. He has since resigned from Daqing Evening News.[15] Despite the impression given by the faked photo, the antelope are getting used to the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, according to a letter to Nature on April 17, 2008, from researchers of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.[16]

In the Karakoram regions of Pakistan-administered Kashmir it is listed as an endangered species.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Mallon, D.P. (2008). "Pantholops hodgsonii". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2008. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 29 March 2009.  Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is considered endangered.
  2. ^ http://iucnworldconservationcongress.org/news/20160904/article/four-out-six-great-apes-one-step-away-extinction-iucn-red-list
  3. ^ Hodgson B. (1834). Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 2: page 81.
  4. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Chiru". Encyclopædia Britannica. 6 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 247. 
  5. ^ Gatsey, J.; et al. (1997). "A cladistic analysis of mitochondrial ribosomal DNA from the Bovidae". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 7 (3): 303–319. doi:10.1006/mpev.1997.0402. 
  6. ^ Lei, R.; et al. (2003). "Phylogenetic relationships of Chinese antelopes (subfamily Antilopinae) based on mitochondrial ribosomal RNA gene sequences". Journal of Zoology. 261 (3): 227–237. doi:10.1017/S0952836903004163. 
  7. ^ Grubb, P. (2005). "Order Artiodactyla". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 637–722. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
  8. ^ Ruan, X.D.; et al. (2005). "Evolutionary history and current population relationships of the chiru (Pantholops hodgsonii) inferred from mtDNA variation". Journal of Mammalogy. 86 (5): 881–886. doi:10.1644/1545-1542(2005)86[881:EHACPR]2.0.CO;2. 
  9. ^ Gentry, A.W. (1992). "The subfamilies and tribes of the family Bovidae". Mammal Review. 22 (1): 1–32. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2907.1992.tb00116.x. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h Leslie, D.M. & Schaller, G.B. (2008). "Pantholops hodgsonii (Artiodactyla: Bovidae)". Mammalian Species: Number 817: pp. 1–13. doi:10.1644/817.1. 
  11. ^ Rollins, C.K. & Hall, D.M. (1999). "Using light and scanning electron microscopic methods to differentiate ibex goat and Tibetan antelope fibers". Textile Research Journal. 69 (11): 856–860. doi:10.1177/004051759906901109. 
  12. ^ Lian, X.; et al. (2007). "Group size effects on foraging and vigilance in migratory Tibetan antelope". Behavioural Processes. 76 (3): 192–197. doi:10.1016/j.beproc.2007.05.001. 
  13. ^ Schaller, G.B. (1998). Wildlife of the Tibetan Steppe. The University of Chicago Press. p. 373. 
  14. ^ Su, J.; et al. (2003). "AILING: the first domesticated Tibetan antelope". Acta Theriologica Sinica. 23 (1): 83–84. 
  15. ^ Spencer, Jane (2008-02-22). "China Eats Crow Over Faked Photo Of Rare Antelope". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2008-02-26. 
  16. ^ Yang, Qisen; Lin Xia (2008-04-17). "Tibetan wildlife is getting used to the railway". Nature. Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  • Ginsberg, J. R., G. B. Schaller, and J. Lowe. (1999). "Petition to list the Tibetan antelope (Pantholops hodgsonii) as an endangered species pursuant to the U.S. Endangered Species Act of 1973." Wildlife Conservation Society and Tibetan Plateau Project.

External links[edit]

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