Support for Leading Saiga Breeding Centre.

This wonderful centre, run by professor Yuri Arylov was established in 2002 with funding from the local Kalmyk government in order to address the devastating decline in saigas across the region.

The CWA was founded primarily as a saiga breeding centre, in order to maintain a saiga gene pool and to breed and raise captive saigas. However, since its opening the centre has done so much more to help this critically endangered species.

The CWA was the world’s first saiga breeding centre, leading the way in best practice in this field, starting with a handful of saigas and quickly establishing a herd of up to 150 animals which roam across its 800 hectares.

The centre also carries out and facilitates critical scientific research into saiga ecology and behaviour, hosting visiting researchers from all around the world to work on topics such as: The restoration of degraded steppe pastures, investigating the saiga’s unique nasal cavity, using cutting edge technology such as satellites to monitor saiga herds, and developing a saiga milk formula for weak and abandoned new-born calves.

The centre works hard to engage the local community, sharing with them the importance of all steppe inhabitants and how we can all play a role in saving saigas, it hosts dignitaries, overseas students, tourists and volunteers as well as scores of local school children each year, who all come specifically to learn about saigas and to see them first hand. The centre has helped local schools to set up Steppe Wildlife Clubs for children, helping them to teach children about saiga conservation and the importance of steppe biodiversity, and even supports their yearly Saiga Day celebrations.

The centre was dealt a blow when the Kalmyk government withdrew its funding in October 2014. The Russian Federal government agreed to continue supporting the important work of the centre, however, there is still uncertainty around when funding will become available and the centre has been left without funds.

Due to this lack of funds the centre was recently forced to close its doors to visitors, and has had to postpone all community outreach activities and scientific research, it is now even struggling to feed the saigas. However, until the promised funding does arrive the SCA is committed to supporting Yuri and his team with their essential work and will be providing critically needed funds.

Specifically we are trying to raise funds to enable them to continue to lease the land to runs the centre, to buy food for the animals, petrol in order to patrol the perimeter and even to pay the dedicated staff.

To find out more about the centre watch a clip about it here:

If you would like to help us raise funds to help Yuri save the Russian saigas you can donate here (every penny helps): https://mydonate.bt.com/events/saverussiansaigas/218471

US supporters please visit: http://wildnet.org/donate?id=18

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