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xinjiang Kalamaili Nature Reserve is located in the north

Kalamaili Nature Reserve is located in the northeast of xinjiang Junggar Basin, it was established in April 1982. As one of the largest nature reserves in China, it stretches from the Ulungur River in the north, across the heart of Dzungarian Basin, and reaches to the northern extension of Tianshan Mountains from covering an area of more than 14,000 km2.


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The Kalamaili mountain range runs east to to west, it has rich vegetation and ample water. However in Nature Reserve is harboring many species in its arid steppe landscape. Mongolian wild ass, goitered gazelle, Eurasia wolf(Canis lupus lupus), and red fox(Vulpes vulpes), are the common ungulate and carnivorous species here. A recent survey showed there were 3128 to 4711 wild asses and 11366 to 16235 goitered gazelles living in Kalamaili. Argali sheep and Bactarian camel are also reported but very rare.


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Kazakh people have been using Kalamaili as their traditional winter pasture as part of their culture. Every autumn before the snow, Kazakh nomads herd their livestock, mostly sheep,camels and horses from the summer pastures in the alpine meadow of Altai Mountain down to the southern Kalamaili, where winter is milder and snow cover is thinner. They stay in their winter tent and fence the livestock in a pen surrounded by fecal brick walls. When snow is gone, normally around late March to April, they leave Kalamaili and go back to their summer pastures. Although Chinese government is conducting the nomadic pastoralists settlement project in Xinjiang by building houses, fixed pens and other public facilities, there is still a big proportion of Kazakh herdsmen keeping this nomadic tradition.

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