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Rangifer  1994 

The ungulates of northern China

Keywords: ungulates , China , distribution , fossils , evolution

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Abstract:

Presently, thirty five species of ungulates occur in northern China. Some species are threatened or endangered. There are three species of Equidae (E. przewalskii, E. hemionus, E. kiang), one of Suidae (Sus scrofa), one of Camelidae (Camelus bactrianus), 14 species of Cervidae (with the genera Moschus, Elaphus, Cervus, Elaphurus, Alces, Rangifer, Capreolus) and 16 species of Bovidae (within the genera Bos, Gazella, Procapra, Pantholops, Saiga, Nemorhaedus, Capricornis, Budorcas, Capra, Pseudois, Ovis). They inhabit different biotopes, i.e. temperate mountain forest and steppe, temperate desert and semi-desert, and vast alpine ranges. Ungulate fossils are widespread in China evidencing that Asia was an evolutionary centre for some ungulates. Although new data have been gathered through research efforts in China since 1949 it is a fact that some ungulate species have suffered serious population set-backs and some have become endangered or even extinct. Detailed studies of ungulate populations and protection of habitats are now most important future research needs.

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