Sunday, December 28, 2008

travel to Tibet: Tibetan antelope

In Tibetan plateau, there living a very rare species named Tibetan antelope. I haven’t known anything about it till watch the impressive film, Kekexili: Mountain Patrol, which was portrayed in the 2004 telling about the struggle to stop illegal antelope hunting. Today we are going to talk about this topic--- Tibetan antelope.

Tibetan antelope, also known commonly by its Tibetan name chiru, is native to the Tibetan plateau including China's Tibet Autonomous Region, Qinghai province, and Xinjiang province; India near Ladakh, formerly western Nepal. Its numbers have dropped accordingly from nearly a million (estimated) at the turn of the 20th century to less than 75,000 today. The numbers continue to drop yearly. Tibetan antelope are listed as endangered by the World Conservation Union and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service due to commercial poaching for their wool, competition with local domesticated herds, and the development of their rangeland for gold mining.

The coat of the Tibetan antelope is made of some of the world's finest hair, measuring three-quarters the width of cashmere and one-fifth that of human hair. The antelope’s wool, which is woven into the luxury fabric “shahtoosh”, is warm, soft and fine. Shahtoosh shawls are so fine that they can be threaded through a wedding ring -- earning them the nickname "ring shawls." Shahtoosh as the hair is known, from the Persian "king of wools" is woven into scarves and shawls that sell up to 10,000USD in markets around the world.

Unfortunately, unlike other cashmere wool, which can be sheared off an animal, the wool of the antelope can only be obtained by killing the animal. The Cruelly slaughtering Tibetan antelopes is an eloquent witness to insatiable greed of Man. So the main threat to the species is the demand for shahtoosh. Extensive global media coverage during 1999 and 2000 alerted the public to the critical status of the Tibetan antelope. Unless consumer demand for shahtoosh can be eliminated, the species may be forced to the brink of extinction.

Now the protection system of Tibetan antelope has developed. A lot of protections come from Chinese government, international countries and volunteers. Though we still have a long way to go, we hope that Tibetan antelope can be well protected through the big efforts and international cooperation.

2 评论:

bhutan holiday said...

Tibet culture is so fascinating. I had the privilege to visit Tibet last year .It along with Bhutan are great place to travel. Just hope both these places can make their visa procedures a little easier.

cheap solar lights said...

I hope places like tibet, nepal and bhutan can maintain their pristine beauty and do not fall to pollution.