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Strategy for Conservation of the Tibetan Gazelle Procapra picticaudata in Ladakh

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Type: Journal Article
Author: Bhatnagar, Yash Veer; Seth, C. M.; Takpa, J.; Ul-Haq, Saleem; Namgail, Tsewang; Bagchi, Sumanta; Mishra, Charudutt
Journal: Conservation & Society
Volume: 5
Date: 2007
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/3426
Sector: Social Organization
Region: East Asia
Subject(s): gazelles
participatory development
Abstract: "Tibetan gazelle Procapra picticaudata is endemic to the Tibetan plateau. During the early twentieth century, it was distributed over a range of c. 20,000 km2 in Ladakh, India. Although its conservation status is believed to be secure, our surveys initiated in 2000 found that the gazelles population in Ladakh has undergone a precipitous decline. Today, c. fifty individuals survive precariously in an area of c. 100 km2 in eastern Ladakh. Population declines have also been reported from Tibet, which remains its stronghold. Local extinction of the gazelle in Ladakh is imminent unless active population and habitat management are undertaken. Management measures, however, are stymied by the lack of understanding of the gazelles ecology and the causes for its decline. Our recent studies in Ladakh establish that past hunting, particularly in the aftermath of the Sino-Indian war in 1962, and continued disturbance and habitat degradation associated with excessive livestock grazing are the main anthropogenic factors that caused the gazelles decline. Our studies have also generated an understanding of the important biotic and abiotic habitat correlates of the gazelles distribution, and the land use and socio-economy of pastoral communities that share the gazelles range. We review these findings, and based on our research results, outline a species recovery strategy for the Tibetan gazelle."

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