Nearly 12,000 Critically Endangered saiga antelopes have been found dead over the last week in the Ural population in western Kazakhstan.

The dead were mostly females who had recently given birth, as well as their calves. The official 2009 estimate of the size of the Ural population was 26,000 animals, and the population has just been through an unusually harsh winter, so these deaths represent a severe blow to this population and to the species as a whole. The cause of the deaths is still unclear, and is currently under investigation.

A full press release and further details can be found in the English and Russian language documents below.

Click here for a report on the deaths by BBC News.

PRESS RELEASE 28th May 2010 Eng

PRESS RELEASE 28th May 2010 Rus

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