Chinese Endangered Gazelle Killed By Spiked Fences Meant To Protect Their Ecosystem

In the grasslands of northwestern China, a measure intended to protect wildlife is doing more harm than good.fence

The endangered Przewalski gazelle has been found trapped in the spike fences and wrapped in barbed wire. The fences were intended to preserve their grassland ecosystem yet has fatally impaled several specimens.

The four- to five-foot-tall fences were erected by the local Qinghai authories, according to Oriental Net, but local herdsmen told the paper that the fences were placed too high for the Przewalski to jump over — resulting in their deaths.

Environmentalists in Qinghai came to the same conclusion about the demise of the gazelle.

The Qinghai government tried to downplay the gazelle deaths by citing statistics about the animals. They said that there was an average of five gazelle deaths due to predatory attacks, diseases, and natural causes in between 2013-2014.

However, Shao Wenjie, the founder of China’s environmental NGO Nature University, claims that seven gazelles have already died in 2016. Reports from Qinghai herdsmen report that they observed more than 20 gazelles killed on the spiked fences in 2013.

Besides poorly thought out environmental measures, the deaths of the gazelles speaks to the improper use of the commercial fence.  Chinese authorities have planned to cover 150 million hectares of grassland (spanning the provinces of Qinghai, Tibet, Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Gansu, and Sichuan) with the spiked fences by 2020.

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