An international crackdown is underway to stop trade in shahtoosh shawls and scarves — expensive, high-fashion items made from the fine wool of the endangered Tibetan antelope, or chiru. Last month saw the first U.S. criminal prosecution for illegal trading in the shawls, a case against dealers in New Jersey. Officials in England, Hong Kong, and Spain have also seized shawls recently. Environmentalists are pushing to add the Tibetan antelope to the U.S. endangered species list, which would prohibit interstate commerce in shahtoosh shawls and make violators subject to further penalties. In China, a cash-strapped ragtag group calling itself the Wild Yak Brigade works to protect the antelopes from armed poachers who skin the animals alive to collect their wool, then leave them to die. The brigade estimates that the antelopes’ numbers have dropped from about 200,000 in 1992 to less than 50,000 today, and that they could be wiped out within 10 years.