National Geographic : 2003 Apr
Tailing a Herd We had never seen this Camp Em terrain before, but we didn't 0m 50June 28 come here blind. George 0km' O Schaller, a world-renowned Gold min wildlife biologist, has been studying the chiru for 15 years, and lobbying for their protection. In 2001, trekking south from China's Xinjiang Autonomous Region, he found a concentration of SRI LANKA 0 500 0km 500 XINJIANG (SINKIANG) AREA ENLARGED Minfeng e ABOVE Boundaryclaimed RIGHT by india . P,.ROPOS pregnant females, but was unable to wait for the births. Now, with Schaller's notes in hand, we hoped to confirm that location as the calving grounds of Tibet's western chiru herd. We knew that migrating females would converge near Toze Kangri (map at left), so that's where our five-day drive from Lhasa, Tibet, ended, and where our foot safari began (right). Two of the team (bottom right)-Conrad Anker, in blue, and Jimmy Chin-assembled our alumi num rickshas, designed to carry more than 200 pounds of gear (including four cele bratory cans of beer). SRange of the chiru (Pantholopshodgsonii) Female chiru QINGHAI spring migration route Date in parentheses denotes year reserve established 0mi 100 0km 100 NATIONALGEOGRAPHIC MAPS I N A OF JTI ET Nagqu Gerze 3,497 ft+ 7.162 m /~rrrt la ltrci""lt NEPAL Lhasa 1 Boundary claimed -- / INDIA by C ina 110 NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC * APRIL 2003 9'