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Tibetan antelope

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Tibetan antelope
Tibetan antelope.png
Scientific Classification
Binomial Name

Pantholops hodgsonii

4 of Tibetan antelope.jpg
Tibetan antelope, which are Chinese endemic species. They are gregarious species. China has not only been included in the effects to protect the national endangered animal list, but also in the "Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora" as endangered species, which are prohibited trade.

The Tibetan antelope, also known as the chiru, is unique to the Tibetan Plateau region of China (which includes four provinces: Qinghai province, Tibet provinces, Xinjiang province and Gansu province). It's one species found principally in China.[2] Also, the place that they live in is the highest plateau in the world. Currently, they are endangered animals.[3] The population of the Tibetan antelope is estimated to be less than 35,000, and it still has a downward trend.

Body Design

Tibetan antelope are slender and strong.

The Tibetan antelope are slender and strong. They have one straight torso and four powerful limbs that help them run fast.They also have short and shape tails. There is a thin bladder in each nostril, its role is to assist in breathing thin air on the plateau.[2]Their whole bodies are covered with abounding straight, velvet hair.The colors of Tibetan antelope include white, light-grey and beige. They will be different depending on the antelope's sex.

Males have horns. Their horns are black and they are usually 50-60 centimeters (20-23 inches) long. Horn doesn't grow throughout a Tibetan antelope's life. They are long and slightly curved, and on their forepart they have ribbed protrusions. Males’ heads and necks are light sepia and will become lighter in winter and darker in summer. The bellies of males are white. Their frontal and four legs are covered with eye-catching spots. The shoulder height of males is about 80-85 centimeters. The weight of males is usually 35-45 kilograms. [4] Females are hornless. Similar to males, the bellies of females are white, and the other parts are yellowish-brown.The shoulder height of females is about 70-75 centimeters.The weight of females is usually 24-35 kilograms.[5]

The undercoat of Tibetan antelope is extremely thin. A human’s hair could be five times as thick as Tibetan antelope’s undercoat. It’s only 9-12 microns in diameter using fiber to measure. Its wool is thought to be the softest wool in the world, known as “shahtoosh”. [6]

Life Cycle

A little Tibetan antelope born a few days ago. It is looking for food by the Zhuonai Lake of Hoh Xil.

The male generally does not live for more than eight and females live until twelve years old. If Tibetan antelope are incaptivity, their ages could be able up to nearly 10 years.[2] The females' sexual maturity is reached at the age of 3. The males' sexual maturity is reached at 18 months. [7]

Except the mating season, the males and female are separate. During November to December, this period is for male Tibetan antelopes try to attack females by using their horns to spar with each others. Usually, the males chases or displays the other males with head down. The male that beats the other is able to get the opportunity to attract females.[8]

Females congregate to give birth in traditional birthing grounds, At the lambing period, usually during about June 20th to July 15th the female Tibetan antelopes go lambing in the hinterland of Hoh Xil, the Zhounai Lake. For each female Tibetan antelope, they can only bear one baby every year. The weight of a newborn antelope is between 1.84-3.2 Kg. Newborns can stand up after half an hour with eating colostrum. Then one hour later, they start toddling. After about one month of physical recovery, the females begin to take small antelopes to return their habitat. During females concentrate calving period, the males take small Tibetan antelope which were born the year before together and form small groups till next mating season.[9]


Tibetan antelopes usually live in the ecological environment of the mountain alpine meadows, alpine grasslands, alpine desert and alpine desert steppe life. They inhabits between 3250-5200m.

Tibatan antelope usually lives in an ecological environment of mountain alpine meadows, alpine grasslands, alpine desert or alpine desert steppe. They inhabit an altitude of 3250-5200 m.[2] Between summer and winter, the Tibetan antelope move hundreds of kilometers.[10] Most of the Tibetan antelopes inhabit the Tibetan Plateau. The reason that Tibetan antelope are able to live at high altitude is that have signals of positive selection. These signs can help to require DNA and produce ATPase. According PO2, they can work better. [11] Also, they are not adapted to envionments at lower altitudes that are highly oxygenated. [12] Their hearts are adapted to high-altitude hypoxia because they have genes to control cardiac contractility. So far, there are no other places that can feed the Tibetan antelope. Tibetan antelopes feed on sedges, forbs, grasses. Their main food belongs to Gramineae, Cyberaeae and Meconopsis. In winter,they dig inside the snow to seek food. [13]

Wolves are the main predators of the Tibetan antelope. They go in hot pursuit of young, old or injured antelopes. Moreover, vultures, lynx, red foxes and snow leopards are threats, particularly to the nascent Tibetan antelopes.[2] Their main instinct to protect themselves is running. The Tibetan antelopes have the advantage of being particularly good runners. They can run at speeds of up to 70 Km per hour. Even female antelopes after the expiration of labor pregnancy still run at high speeds, which is rare in other herbivorous animals. They can run in the low oxygen condition for several hours.[14]


The Tibetan antelope is currently an endangered species because of poaching. They have been given the highest level of protection.

Tibetan antelope are included in the "Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora" as endangered species. In 1990, the number of Tibetan antelope was around one million. Now, the number has dropped to less 35,000. It still has a downward trend.[15] Unlawful poaching activities started in the 1980s. Many people wanted to kill them in order to obtain their wool, horns and hair. Their hair can be made into valuable things.[16]

Antelopes were included in the "Washington Convention" CITES Appendix I,Tibetan antelope, antelope international trade body organs and derivatives are prohibited. The protection of animals at the national level. The Tibetan antelope is also on the ICUN Red List.[17] In 2006, the Chinese government built thirty-three migration passageways, which are underneath the railway that intersect the antelopes' feeding ground. [18] Now the Tibetan antelope is legally protected by China and India. They check the illegal trade seriously.[19] The main way to protect them is establishing nature reserves in the main distribution area and organizing armed anti-poaching operations. There are four nature reserves in China. People at first didn't believe this wouldn't work well, but now local people think they are significant.[20]


At the season of birthing new Tibetan antelope, the new hope of saving the Tibetan antelope. Migrating Tibetan antelope filmed crossing a river


  1. Pantholops hodgsonii Wikispecies. Web. 18 November 2013, at 22:21..Unknown Author.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Tibetan antelope Wikipedia. Web. 25 October 2014. Unknown Author.
  3. Top 6 Endangered Species in China China Tour Advisor. Web. AUGUST 15, 2013 at 21:20.Unknown Author.
  4. Tibetan antelope BaiduEncyclopedia. Web. 11 November 2014 at 19:08.Unknown Author.
  5. Tibetan Antelope, a Protected Species, Becoming Fashion Victim Worldwatch institute. Web. 9 November 2014 at 21:54.Unknown Author.
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  7. The spirit-Tibetan antelope Banbao. Web. 10 January 2015 at 22:57.Unknown Author.
  8. Elves plateau Tibetan antelope Hoh Xil. Web. 11 December 2002 at 9:29.Unknown Author.
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  10. Pantholops hodgsonii The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Web. January 10, 2015 .Unknown Author.
  11. The Genome Sequence Of Tibetan Antelope Sheds New Light On High-Altitude Adaptation RedCrbit. Web. 17 May 2013. Unknown Author.
  12. Tibetan antelope Web. January 5, 2015 at 20:15 .Unknown Author.
  13. Tibetan antelope Tumblr.. Web. 7 January 2015 at 9:30.Unknown Author.
  14. Latest Tibetan antelope Stories RedCrbit. Web. 11 January 2015 at 15:56.Unknown Author.
  15. Tibetan antelope Sougou. Web. 10 January 2015 at 22:18.Unknown Author.
  16. Tibetan antelope Baike. Web. 10 January 2015 at 23:06.Unknown Author.
  17. Christina Larson.The Tibetan antelope The Christian Science Monitor. Web. 28 August 2012. Unknown Author.
  18. Tibetan Antelope, Pantholops hodgsonii RedCrbit. Web. 11 January 2015 at 18:29. Unknown Author.
  19. Tibetan Antelope, a Protected Species, Becoming Fashion Victim WorldWatch Institute.. Web. 11 January 2015 at 18:03. Unknown Author.
  20. Xinhua News AgencyPermanent monitoring station to safeguard Tibetan antelopes CHINA.ORG.CN. Web. 31 January 2008.