At the beginning of June a “Saiga Day” festival was organized for over 100 local schoolchildren aged between 7-11 from Korgalzhyn village in Central Kazakhstan. This exciting event was fully supported by the SCA and our generous funders Wildlife Conservation Network.
The festival aims to raise awareness among local communities about saiga antelope protection and conservation. Children were involved in a fascinating day with games, movies about saiga, quizzes and creative competitions. ‘Saiga Day’ participants shared their knowledge about saiga conservation, biodiversity and poaching. All participants were awarded diplomas, comics about saigas, books and t-shirts.
‘Saiga Day’ is an international festival which has been held since 2011 in Uzbekistan, Russia and Kazakhstan. ‘Saiga Day’ is held during the saiga calving time in the regions where this steppe antelope lives. Korgalzhyn State nature reserve is a unique place that has been included in the List of World Heritage Sites. This nature reserve has a very rich biodiversity and among all other species – saiga antelope.
After a terrible mass die off in the Betpakdala saiga population last year, poaching for horns has become an even greater threat for this antelope. That’s why it was incredibly important to pay attention to the Central Kazakhstan region and raise awareness amongst the local population.
The future of saigas in this territory depends on these children, their ecological education and clear understanding of all threats to it conservation.
This year, Association for the Conservation of Biodiversity of Kazakhstan (ACBK) also arranged the festival in 5 schools in the Shalkar district (Aktobe region) and in Nursay village (West Kazakhstan region). The framework of the festival was the conservation of the Ustyurt saiga population.
Students of all grades were involved in the fun interactive learning process through creative contests, games, competitions, concerts and movies about the Saiga. By the end of the event, the most active students, who were able to express themselves and demonstrate their knowledge about the wildlife, were awarded with diplomas and gifts.
We thank ACBK education manager, Mukhit Suttibaeva, local teachers and volunteers: Aslana Nurpeisova, Akzada Aytzhanova, Badagul Kurmanseitova, Larisa Kuanysheva, Batima Utalina and Anar Kydykova.