IFAW gives Tibetan antelope more space to roam

Monday, April 11, 2005
Yarmouth Port, MA
IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare - www.ifaw.org) provided another 10,000 USD to support the removal of pasture fences from the protected Tibetan antelope range within Arjinshan National Nature Reserve in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China. IFAW allocated 30,000 USD last year to support Arjinshan’s anti poaching and habitat rebuilding process. Dr Li Zhang, IFAW China Country Director said: “ Now it is a proper time that we shall be returning the ranges to Tibetan Antelopes.”
Arjinshan is one of the primary ranges of Tibetan antelopes in the world and it has been threatened by livestock farming activities since the end of last century. In recent years, farmers gradually relocated themselves to lower altitudes out of the reserve, yet left about 6,000 acres of land enclosed by artificial fences. The remains of the fences are still threatening the survival of many wild animals by either barring their entry to feeding grounds or from migrating to their breeding destination. Since late 2003, 5083 acres of pasture fence have been removed under IFAW’s support.

 Dr. Zhang added: “Now that conservation efforts are able to shift their emphasis from anti-poaching towards habitat protection, we think it is highly important to help rebuild the nature reserves to international standards. Pulling down the fencing remains one of IFAW’s priority initiatives. Its success will return some free-roaming space to the Tibetan antelopes and other wild animals. We wish that other management authorities would recognize this problem and help restore the natural environment for Tibetan Antelope in the near future.”

The Deputy Director of Arjinshan Nature Reserve Huibin Zhang said: “ We thank IFAW for its support upgrading our management capacities, and for its help with the restoration of Tibetan Antelopes’ natural habitat. We will maintain this effort and will work to demolish another 5000 acres of fences next year.”

IFAW is continuing to work with other Nature reserves in Xinjiang, Qinghai and Tibet, Province of China to strengthen the collaboration in decrementing Tibetan antelope’s habitat loss in larger area.

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