Herders patrol to protect endangered gazelles in NW China

The national nature reserve of Qinghai Lake in Northwest China's Qinghai province has set up patrol teams consisting of herders to protect Przewalski's gazelles (Procapra przewalskii).

The move, supported by United Nations Development Programme and Global Environment Facility, is aimed at better protecting the rare species as well as the biodiversity of the region around China's largest inland saltwater lake, said He Yubang, head of the reserve's administration.

The first batch of three patrol teams has 22 herders, including three women.

"The patrollers are expected to further enhance the relationship between the nature reserve and local communities and strengthen their ability of co-management," He said.

The number of Przewalski's gazelles near Qinghai Lake had exceeded 2,700 by late August, up from over 300 in 1994, data from the administration showed.

Dubbed the "most beautiful lake in China," Qinghai Lake plays an important role in the ecological preservation of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.