The Mongolian gazelle
), or Zeren
, is a medium-sized antelope
native to the semi-arid Central Asian steppes
, as well as some parts of Siberia
. The name zeren
corruption of the Mongolian language
name of zeer
In the summer its coat is light brown with pinkish tones, becoming longer and paler during the winter. They also have a distinctive heart-shaped white patch on their rump area, divided by a median line of darker color. The males have lyre
-shaped horns which curl backwards from the forehead. They are extremely fast runners and good swimmers.
In the winter they are mostly diurnal
, but in the summer they are active shortly after sunrise and before sunset. They tend to travel a lot, and migrations takes place in spring and autumn, but the distance and direction varies depending on the weather and food availability.
The groups usually consists of 20-30 individuals in the summer, and 100 in the winter. However, herds up to 5,000 individuals are not unusual. They still exist in large numbers with a small captive population, the population trend is unknown. In 2007, a mega-herd of a quarter of a million Mongolian gazelles was seen gathering on the country's steppes, one of the world's last great wildernesses.
The mating season is in the late autumn or winter, at this time the males' throat swells in a goiter
-like effect. Competition is vigorous, but fights rarely breaks out. The gestation period lasts for... Read More