12,000 critically endangered Saiga antelope found dead in Kazakhstan04/06/2010 00:22:03 Mass mortality among Saigas in Kazakhstan: 12,000 dead
June 2010. Nearly 12,000 Critically Endangered Saiga antelopes have been found dead in the Ural population in western Kazakhstan.
"This is a tragic and shocking event. It's particularly unfortunate that the population was just emerging from an unusually harsh winter, and that those struck down are mostly females and this year's calves," said Prof. E.J. Milner-Gulland, Chair of the Saiga Conservation Alliance and a member of IUCN Species Survival Commission Antelope Specialist Group.
95% decline in population since 1995
Deaths causes as yet unknown
"The Ural population has been relatively neglected by international conservation until now, but hopefully this event will bring government, national and international conservationists together to mount a coordinated response to save this remote population," said Milner-Gulland.
The Committee on Forestry and Hunting of the Kazakhstan within the Ministry of Agriculture has mounted a rapid response. These efforts are now being aided by local NGO, the Association for the Conservation of Biodiversity in Kazakhstan, with the support of the Saiga Conservation Alliance, who are helping the government to investigate the cause of death. In addition, IUCN's Antelope Specialist Group members have been active in advising these organizations.
Courtesy of the Saiga Conservation Alliance