This video from Russia says about itself:
Border guards have been working non-stop to help thousands of trapped gazelles cross into Russia from Mongolia. Severe drought has forced the animals to migrate north. Wildlife enthusiasts are hopeful the influx will be a boost to Russia’s dying Gazelle population.
From the BBC:
Largest herd of gazelles sighted
Editor, Earth News
A mega-herd of a quarter of a million Mongolian gazelles has been seen gathering on the country’s steppes, one of the world’s last great wildernesses.
The coming together on the grassy plains is the largest ever recorded.
The biologists who saw it estimate it contained perhaps a quarter of all Mongolian gazelles on the planet.
“It was stunning,” says Kirk Olson of the University of Massachusetts, US. “I don’t know if I was surprised or simply blown away by what we came across.”
Together with scientists at the Smithsonian Institute, they had been capturing gazelles and fitting them with GPS collars to track their movements, trying to work out where they travel and why.
As they drove east they began to encounter herds of a couple of thousand individuals.
“Groups of this size are impressive and beautiful to see,” describes Olson. Then the following day, at about midday, they drove to a hillside offering a great view of what appeared to be one such herd.
“But it was really one edge of a group that ended up being over 250,000 by one estimate.
“We were simply amazed at the sight. The image I have in my mind of seeing this massive aggregation of gazelles will always be etched into my memory.”
Mongolian gazelles are known to gather in large herds. Groups containing 10,000 animals or more are often reported, while the largest herd previously known numbered 80,000. …
Hunting has already decimated populations of the saiga antelope and the kulan, also known as the Mongolian wild ass. Olson hopes that conservationists will increase their efforts to protect the gazelles, before their huge herds are also reduced.
Mountains, roads and railways: a natural barrier to survival for Mongolia’s wild asses: here.
Critically endangered Saiga antelope vital for preservation of world’s largest grasslands: here.
Betty White fund helps rare saiga antelope suffering from 95% decline in 20 years: here.
Mass mortality among saiga antelopes in Kazakhstan: 12,000 dead: here.
Few species have fallen so far and so fast in the past 15 years as Central Asia’s antelope, the saiga. Its precipitous decline is reminiscent of the bison or the passenger pigeon in 19th Century America, but conservationists hopes it avoids the fate of the latter: here.
12,000 critically endangered Saiga antelope found dead in Kazakhstan: here.
- An American Painter in the Land of Genghis Khan (theepochtimes.com)
- Individuals a population to conserve make (conservationbytes.com)
- Mongolian Nature (ireport.cnn.com)
- Photo Essay: Mongolia’s Nomads (barnmeditation.wordpress.com)