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Премия рунета 2017

Dzeren

Once dzeren, or Mongolian gazelle (Procapra gutturosa), were common and even numerous in the steppes of eastern Transbaikal. But by the middle of the XX century the number of this species has significantly decreased. In Russia dzeren almost completely disappeared. This was due to plowing of steppes, development of sheep breeding in their habitats. A negative role played the appearance of cars and motorcycles: if earlier a person could not catch up with this fast antelope, which develops speed of up to 75–85 km/h, now the hunt for them has turned into some kind of fun. Dzeren died not only from bullets, but also under the wheels of cars. Also, their numbers fell sharply during the Great Patriotic War, when they were actively shot for meat. In 1961, hunting them was completely banned.

Daursky Reserve © Vadim Kirilyuk
© WWF Russia
Herd of dzeren © Vadim Kirilyuk
Dzeren. Daursky Reserve © Vadim Kirilyuk
Dzeren © Vadim Kirilyuk
Dzeren on the Russia-Mongolia border © WWF Russia
Dzeren. Daursky Reserve © Vadim Kirilyuk

Once again, local dzeren in Transbaikal appeared only in the early 1990s, after the creation of «Daursky» Reserve. In 1992, first case of breeding antelopes have been noted in the reserve after a long break, and in 1993 the local breeding group increased to 10–15 and in subsequent years grew to several dozen individuals.

An important stage in the program for the restoration of dzeren in Transbaikal, implemented by the «Daursky» and «Sokhondinsky» Nature Reserves with the support of WWF, was the creation of new PAs: a federal sanctuary of a «Valley of Dzeren» and a guard zone of «Sokhondinsky» Reserve, which took under protection most important places of forest and winter habitat of this gazelle. WWF helped to reduce damage to migratory species when crossing engineered structures on border, which prevented gazelles from moving freely within the migration route from Mongolia to Russia. Then rescue activities organized by the «Daursky» Reserve staff and border guard service with the participation of WWF helped to prevent mass deaths of animals.

Thanks to joint well-coordinated work of the two reserves and the hunting supervision service, with financial support of the Foundation for the Prevention of Poaching, about 2000 antelopes have settled in 2010 on the Russian territory. According to records, in 2016, about 7,400 of these animals already lived in «Daursky» Reserve and in «Dzeren Valley» Sanctuary. Another 500 dzeren have formed a second herd in the guarded zone of «Sohondinsky» Reserve.

The return Mongolian gazelle to Russian fauna is the main joint success.