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Genetic diversity of the Tibetan antelope (Pantholops hodgsonii) population of Ladakh, India, its relationship with other populations and conservation implications

The Tibetan antelope (Pantholops hodgsonii), or chiru, is an endangered antelope, distributed in China [Xinjiang, Xizang, Qinghai, Zhuolaihu Lake (Breeding habitat)], and India (Aksai Chin and Ladakh). There is a global demand for the species prized wool, which is used in weaving shahtoosh shawls. Over the years, the population of the Tibetan antelope has drastically declined from more than a million to a few thousand individuals, mainly due to poaching. Field studies undertaken in Ladakh, India also indicated winter migra