Skip to content
Victor Tyakht/Adobe Stock

Victor Tyakht/Adobe Stock

Help save saiga antelopes

Please donate

Help save saiga

Your gift could help us protect key saiga habitat

These spectacular creatures urgently need your help

The weird and wonderful saiga once roamed the Eurasian steppe in vast nomadic herds, millions strong.

But – by the end of the 20th century, their population had declined by more than 90% – one of the fastest recorded declines for a mammal.

Today, Fauna & Flora are helping to build their population back up. Please, donate today and you could help save the majestic saiga. 

What are the main threats to saiga antelope?

Poaching, habitat loss and devastating mass die-off events have all contributed to the saigas’ crushing decline over the last few decades. If we’re to give the species the best possible chance of survival, we must act as fast as we can.


Saiga have always been hunted for their meat, horns and skins. Male saiga are a particular target, because their horns are coveted by traditional medicine practitioners. In the 1990s, poaching reached epidemic levels after misguided conservationists tried to relieve the pressure on threatened African rhinos by actively encouraging the use of saiga horn in traditional medicine as an alternative to rhino horn. Male saiga were almost wiped out, leading to a population crash from which the species has been struggling to recover ever since.

Habitat loss

Traditional saiga feeding grounds are being lost to agricultural expansion and human settlement. Physical barriers such as railways, pipelines and fences can block the seasonal migration routes of this transboundary species. In the worst cases, herds may starve to death after being trapped.

Saiga calf. © Bakhtiyar Taikenov / ACBK

Saiga calf. © Bakhtiyar Taikenov / ACBK

Many saiga feeding grounds are being lost, leaving them with limited food and water.


In 2015, the largest of Kazakhstan’s three saiga populations was decimated by an outbreak of haemorrhagic septicaemia – caused by the bacterium Pasteurella multocida – which killed over 75% of the global adult saiga population in just three weeks.

In 2017, 60% of the Mongolian saiga population – a subspecies found nowhere else in the world – was killed by a viral infection spilling over from livestock. These so-called mass mortality events pose an unpredictable but potentially existential threat to the species.

Climate change

Although wonderfully well adapted to cold winters and hot summers, saiga struggle to cope with temperature extremes and unpredictable fluctuations in climate.

Experts believe that unusually warm and wet weather may have triggered the mass mortality event that saw a normally harmless bacterium opportunistically invade the antelopes’ bloodstream, with fatal consequences for over 200,000 saiga.

The saiga’s steppe habitat has become increasingly arid in recent years, reducing the availability of healthy pastureland and drying out the smaller water courses away from human habitation that the species normally relies on.

What is Fauna & Flora doing to save saiga?

Fauna & Flora is helping to preserve and monitor key areas of habitat that are home to saiga antelope. We are also working with local ranger teams to step up anti-poaching efforts and reduce the illegal killing of saigas and the creatures that share their home.

Saigas breed quickly so their numbers can recover – in fact, their population has shown a steady increase since 2015. But we’re not out of the woods yet – the threat of disease still looms large.

Please, donate today to support our vital work across the globe, and you could help make sure that wonderful creatures like the saiga have a safe and bright future ahead of them.

Why Fauna & Flora? 

Fauna & Flora is the world’s oldest international conservation organisation, helping to save species and habitats for over 120 years. We work alongside dedicated local heroes in countries across the globe, helping to safeguard animals and habitats wherever we can.

If we’re going to save saiga from extinction, the knowledge and partnerships we have built up in the region will be of the utmost importance. But we cannot do it without your support.

Please donate now, and together we could help save saiga.

Donate today

+44 1223 749019

To join by phone, or for more information, give us a call.