About 12,500 Mongolian gazelles inhabit the Dauria Nature Reserve and the “Valley of Dzeren” Wildlife Refuge
The survey was conducted by the efforts of the rangers of the Dauria Nature Reserve on 4–7 October. This activity is one of the largest among the annual autumn works in the nature reserve. Seven vehicles were involved. Each crew is assigned for a certain territory delineated by the navigator. The conditions of work at this time were difficult. Tall grass required a particularly detailed survey of the steppe. With low vegetation it is possible to take into account almost 100% of the animals, in present situation there could be possible omissions of some groups of antelopes.
In 1992, for the first time after the extermination of dzerens in Zbaikalye, which ended by the 1970s, the first newborn dzeren was found in the Daursky Reserve. The growth of the population was very slow, despite the protected status of the area, and by the beginning of the millennium there were only 80 heads. Many thousands dzeren winter migrations from Mongolia to Zabaikalsky province have began in 2000-2001. Instinct-driven antelopes were looking for escape from the unfavorable weather conditions. However, people in Zabaikalsky province met them not with bread and salt, but treated them as a free game, arranging mass slaughter. In spring, the remains of dzeren herds returned to Mongolia, but some remained in Russia. Since that time, an epic restoration of the antelope in Russia has been launched under the leadership of the Dauria Nature Reserve. For two decades the Dzeren Restoration Program has been implementing in Russia with the support of governmental agencies and public organizations - the UNDP / GEF / Ministry of Natural Resources and WWF Russia.
In particular, with the support of WWF Russia, the federal reserve “Valley of Dzeren” was established in 2011 to ensure smooth migrations of the antelope between Russia and Mongolia, joint research and environmental measures are being conducted.
In July 2017, the Russian-Mongolian territory “Landscapes of Dauria” received the high status of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The work of the Daursky Reserve to restore the Mongolian gazelle population played an important role in making this decision.