The Tibetan gazelle is on the verge of extinction in India. An important cause is the severe competition with Kashmir goats. As a result of growing demand for their wool, increasing numbers of Kashmir goats are being raised and they are now threatening the remaining gazelle population.
Like the Tibetan antelope, the Kashmir goat lives at altitudes above 4500 metres, where a warm winter coat is essential. In the spring the goats shed their winter fleece; the goatherds gather the wool that is left on thorny bushes and rocks, and brush the goats. Only the wool from the belly is fine enough to weave into pashmina shawls. Many goats are needed, as one pashmina shawl requires the winter fleece of at least three goats.
The goats live in the same areas as the Tibetan gazelles and eat largely the same vegetation. This is threatening the survival of the antelope, which are having to go in search of other areas. Namgail concludes that if the population in India is not to become extinct, the grazing pressure from small ruminants in their habitat must decrease considerably. Outside India the Tibetan gazelle is found in larger numbers in the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau in western China, but there the population is also dwindling fast.