May 19, 2022

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A gazelle travels 18,000 km in 5 years in Mongolia

AGI – A female deer Procapra gutturosa traveled 18,000 km across the Mongolian steppes in five years. This was documented in the journal Ecology by scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society in Mongolia and the Senckenberg Naturmuseum in Frankfurt, who used a GPS tracking system to monitor the animals’ movements.

The authors demonstrate that this data can provide Important information for species conservation programmes. The team led by Thomas Muller placed GPS collars in five samples of Procapra gutturosa in 2014. One of the signals had been active for five years and allowed the research team to track the deer’s movements. The researchers found that the sample traveled more than 18,000 km, which is equivalent to half the circumference of the equator, and crossed Mongolia several times from northern to southern regions.

“This trip is truly extraordinary – comments Nandintsetseg Dejid, Muller colleague and co-author – not only because of the impressive distance, but also becauseThe deer also reached unknown areasVisiting different areas in an irregular and unexpected way. “Unlike other ungulates, the scientists explain that deer do not exhibit regular seasonal movements, do not return to important places in their lives and are willing to cross unknown territories.

“In 2014, the movements of the gazelle were somewhat limited – according to Dejid reports – the following year, the specimen began to move north, until it reached an area near the border with Russia. The following spring, it moved south, following a different route after it had Giving birth to a cub, it continued its journey south until it reached the border with China in December 2016. In the spring of 2017, the gazelle returned north and in 2018 it made its way back up again. The animal died in 2019 after a quieter year“.

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The report on this trip, experts comment, highlights the importance of preserving the landscapes visited by migratory ungulates, so that specimens can find food resources and escape extreme events. “More long-term studies are needed – Muller concludes – to better understand the mechanisms of deer orientation and movement, in order to provide effective protection for the species.”