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

Rory McCann is off to Mongolia to paint another awesome educational saiga mural, watch this space for updates on his latest adventure into saiga territory. ... See MoreSee Less

Off now for 2 weeks to the Gobi-Altai Province of Mongolia to the final destination of the Saiga Antelope. I will be spending 8 days in Bayan-Uul soum, painting another wildlife mural with the school ...

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Latest Posts from the SCA Newsroom

ПРЕСС-РЕЛИЗ – В МОСКВЕ СОСТОЯЛСЯ СЕМИНАР ПО РАЗВЕДЕНИЮ САЙГАКА

28-29 августа 2017 года Институт проблем экологии и эволюции им. А.Н. Северцова Российской академии наук, Зоопарк Сан-Диего и Альянс по сохранению сайгака провели двухдневный семинар для обмена опытом и разработки стратегического плана относительно роли...

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SCA holds workshop on captive breeding of saigas

  On 28th-29th August 2017, the Russian Academy of Science’s Institute of Ecology & Evolution, San Diego Zoo and the Saiga Conservation Alliance hosted a two-day workshop to exchange knowledge and develop a strategic plan regarding the role of...

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World Ranger Day 2017

Today, and every day we are grateful to the incredible men and women the world over who dedicate their lives to protect biodiversity. Today especially, we remember those who have tragically lost their lives in the line of duty, those like Uldis Knakis, whose life was...

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