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The saiga antelope is superbly adapted to the harsh conditions of the grass and semi-desert steppes of Central Asia, which are among the last remaining wilderness areas in Eurasia. This unique looking antelope lives in large nomadic herds but unfortunately their numbers are dropping and they are now considered Critically Endangered.
Despite its ability to endure the extremes of nature, the saiga cannot withstand the increasing threat from human-related pressures due to hunting for horn and meat and habitat degradation and fragmentation. The world population of saiga antelope has declined catastrophically in recent years by 95 per cent.
Fauna & Flora International (FFI) is working with a number of partners to help secure the future for the saiga. One such project is focusing on the relationship between rural livelihoods and increased poaching on the Ustyurt plateau in Kazakhstan.
The saiga antelope can undertake migratory journeys between summer and winter ranges of over 1,000 kilometres. As a transboundary species, it is crucial that all the range states agree to protect the saiga if its survival is to be secure.