The Saiga Conservation Alliance works across the saiga’s range to secure its future.
Resembling a character from a Dr. Seuss book, the saiga antelope has evolved to be perfectly adapted to its life in the steppe and semi-arid desert of Central Asia and Russia. It is a relic of Ice Age fauna that included mammoths and saber-tooth cats. The saiga lives in some of the harshest land in the world and migrates long distances between summer and winter lands.
Herds of saiga once numbered in the millions, but today only 160,000 survive. The saiga population crashed by 95% in fifteen years, the fastest decline ever recorded for a mammal species. Saigas are hunted for their meat and their horns, which are believed to have medicinal purposes. The fate of the saiga was closely tied to the economic downfall of the USSR in 1991, which resulted in the collapse of rural economies and in turn led to widespread unemployment and poverty. Saiga poaching provided a source of food and income. Saiga grazing is also threatened by increasing livestock numbers.
The Saiga Conservation Alliance (SCA) works across the saiga’s range to secure its future. Recently, the saiga population has begun to increase again, thanks in large part to the efforts of SCA.
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