Saigas are one of the most threatened species on the planet.

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Saiga Conservation Alliance

Saving the Critically Endangered Saiga Antelope from Extinction

 

 

The Cause

The saiga antelope once roamed across Europe and North America alongside mammoths and sabre-toothed cats. Saigas live in some of the harshest lands in the world, often migrating long distances between summer and winter pastures. Their unique physiology is ideally suited for this climate and habitat.

Once numbering in the millions, the saiga population crashed by 95% in fifteen years, the fastest decline ever recorded for a mammal species. They are now critically endangered. In May and early June of 2015, over 200,000 saiga in central Kazakhstan died suddenly due to a respiratory illness. The fate of the saiga is also closely tied to the economic downfall of the USSR in the 1990s, and illegal poaching to sell the horns for “medicine.”

The Challenge

Saigas are under threat for several reasons; they are increasingly hunted for their meat and valuable horns, which are believed to have medicinal purposes. Oil and gas exploration and transportation as well as the laying of new road and rail infrastructures are hindering saiga migrations and impeding access to traditional pastures, many of which are being threatened by increasing livestock numbers.

The Saiga Conservation Alliance works across the saiga’s range in Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russia and Uzbekistan as well as in consumer countries such as China, to secure its future. Recently, the saiga population in Kazakhstan has begun to increase again, thanks in large part to the efforts of SCA.

A Prehistoric Marvel

The saiga antelope ranged across the Eurasian steppe since the ice age. Its extremely unusual oversized nose inflates to breathe warm air in the frosty winters and filter dust in the summers.

Working to Save Them

Conservationists are working in several nations across the saiga’s range to save this rare animal. It takes field work, education and outreach to make a positive change and help their future.

About Us

The Saiga Conservation Alliance is a network of researchers and conservationists who have worked together for over 15 years to study and protect the critically endangered saiga antelope.

Latest Update from the SCA on Facebook

Saigas and Climate Change

Saturday October 8th During WCN’s Expo in San Francisco
1.30-12.30pm
Robertson Auditorium

Join Lena as she sits on a panel of leading conservationists during WCN’s Expo to talk about how Climate Change is impacting saigas.

Saigas live on the steppe and semi-desert regions that are being seriously effected by climate change, so it stands to reason that must be a knock of effect to these critically endangered creatures.

What impact is this having on their pastures, their historic breeding and rutting areas? Did it have anything to do with the recent devastating die-off in Kazakhstan?

What are we doing to mitigate the impacts of these new pressures, and what can you do to help?

All these questions will be addressed during this fascinating panel session, so be sure to come along and hear Lena address these issues. You'll also have have the opportunity to speak to her, Olya and our colleague, Alyona from Kazakhstan who worked on the die-off as it happened, after the discussion.
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Latest Posts from the SCA Newsroom

Climate Change Q&A with Elena Bykova from the SCA in Uzbekistan

Saturday October 8th During WCN’s Expo in San Francisco 1.30-12.30pm Robertson Auditorium   Join Lena as she sits on a panel of leading conservationists during WCN’s Expo to talk about how Climate Change is impacting saigas. Saigas live on the steppe and semi-desert...

read more

SCA Launches new website

Thanks to the kind help and support from Houston Zoo we are excited to be able to share our new website with you. The new-look SCA website is full of the latest updates from exciting SCA projects in Central Asia and news on what we are doing to tackle the illegal...

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Saiga Youth Camp 2016

We’re excited to announce that today saw the opening ceremony of our Saiga Kids’ Camp 2016. This year saiga camp welcomes 30 children with teachers from 3 saiga range areas: Nukus, Karakalpakstan and Jaslyk. It is the second time when the leading participants of...

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