The saiga antelope’s distinguishing characteristics are its rather unusual oversized nose and its rapid rate of extinction since the 1990s. The saiga lives in Central Asia, and, following the fall of the Soviet Union, 95% of the antelope’s population disappeared.
Much of the saiga’s disappearance was due to poaching for meat and horns. Saiga Conservation Alliance has worked tirelessly with communities to help save this extremely endangered antelope. Now the Kazakh government has reported that its saiga population has double in the past five years to 137,000 animals.
There is still plenty of work to be done to save the saiga, especially in Kazakhstan’s neighboring countries such as Uzbekistan. But the news of the saiga’s recovery, recently covered in Scientific American, gives hope that this funny antelope can make a comeback.