After the devastating news from Kazakhstan that 88% (over 200,000 saigas) of the Betpak-dala population died during the calving period in May 2015, it has never been more important to support the efforts of the anti-poaching ranger teams in protecting the last remaining saiga populations.
Emergency funding from Wildlife Conservation Network and Disney has allowed us equip the rangers of the Stepnoi State Nature Sanctuary in Astrakhan Oblast, Russia, with some essential clothing and accessories which will make them safer, more effective and efficient.
Their new helmets, specialist trousers, jackets and gloves will not only help insulate them from the elements (it often falls below -30o for days at a time), but will offer them protection too.
The poachers come into the reserve on high-speed cross-country motorbikes, and it is extremely dangerous to chase them; a few years ago one member of the Stepnoi ranger team was seriously injured doing this, so this protective clothing was desperately needed. We have also been able to provide several sets of binoculars and four sets of night vision goggles, in this way the poachers are never safe from the vigilant ranger patrols!