Saiga Antelope

Saiga tatarica : Distribution: China (ex), Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Poland (ex), Russian Federation, Turkmenistan, Ukraine (ex), Uzbekistan

The rapid decline of this nomadic herding antelope featured prominently in the launch of the 2002 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species in which it was listed as Critically Endangered, the highest category of threat. The saiga antelope inhabits the open dry steppe grasslands and semi-arid deserts of Central Asia and the Russian Federation, and the plight of the saiga is an indicator for the state of these fragile ecosystems. Saiga numbers have plummeted 95% from about 1 million in 1990 to less than 50,000 today. The main cause of this catastrophic decline is poaching, both for horn and meat.

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