The Saiga Antelope population is increasing in Kazakhstan

The Saiga Antelope (Saiga tatarica) is a critically endangered ungulate (hoofed) mammal. 

In 2015, there was a bacterial disease that killed many Saiga Antelopes. The population decreased by 60% making it a critically endangered species.

It is native to Russia and Kazakhstan. In winter, it migrates south to Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. It used to be native to a wider area across Eurasia. It prefers semi-deserts, steppes, and grasslands, and it does not like steep and mountainous regions. 

Saiga Antelope

The female Saiga gives birth to only one live young at a time. Her young is called a calf.

By 2019, the surviving population doubled, and in 2020, there were 530 new Saiga calves in the Ustyurt Plateau. This is due to the efforts of environmentalists in Kazakhstan and the work of Fauna & Flora International (FFI), a wildlife conservation organization. 

The Saiga Antelope has yellow-to reddish fur in summer and grey-brown fur in winter. It has a big, rounded nose with closely-spaced nostrils. It has long ears. Only the male has horns, which are thick with 12-20 rings. The male’s horns can grow to 28-38 centimetres (11-15 inches) long. 

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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