rotection center saves over 300 endangered Tibetan antelope

A protection center for Tibetan antelope established in the Hoh Xil national nature reserve in 2004 has helped protect over 300 Tibetan antelopes against poaching, according to the center.

Tibetan antelopes are mostly found in Tibet Autonomous Region, Qinghai Province and the western part of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The Hoh Xil on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is an ideal habitat for the highly-endangered species.

Pregnant females and young members of the herd migrate to the Hoh Xil region of western Qinghai and northeastern Tibet every June to give birth, and make the return journey in September.

There used to be millions of Tibetan antelope on the plateau, but hunting and human encroachment on their habitat caused their population to plummet.

Poachers hunt the antelopes for their hide as it can be sold and made into shahtoosh, a luxury item that requires three to five antelope skins to make just one shawl.

Since 1979, the animal has been recognized as an endangered species and protected under the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species.

Chinese conservation officers launched a campaign to crack down on illegal poaching of the antelope in 1999 in Hoh Xil, a reserve that encompasses China's largest area of uninhabited land.