Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

International Team Urges Action To Save Threatened Antelope Species

Date:
July 12, 2004
Source:
Imperial College Of Science, Technology And Medicine
Summary:
Urgent action is needed if the saiga antelope is to be saved from extinction, according to an international team of researchers reporting their first year findings.

July 6, 2004 -- Urgent action is needed if the saiga antelope is to be saved from extinction, according to an international team of researchers reporting their first year findings today.

The latest population surveys in Kazakhstan have found that the saigas did not form a cluster to give birth this year in their former stronghold in Ustiurt, west Kazakhstan. Researchers are blaming widespread poaching, which continues despite the Kazakhstan government's commitment to saiga conservation.

The saiga antelope is one of the World Conservation Union's most critically endangered species. Over the last decade, numbers have declined by over 95% - from around a million in the early 1990s to just 21,000 in Kazakhstan and 750 in Mongolia today.

Imperial College London is working with partners Fauna and Flora International and the World Conservation Union (IUCN) in the UK, the Institute of Zoology in Kazakhstan, and the Institute of Ecology and Evolution in the Russian Republic of Kalmykia to ensure the survival of this species.

The group is lobbying for the ratification of the Memorandum of Understanding and action plan for saiga conservation drawn up by the Convention on Migratory Species in 2002. It is also calling for the establishment of captive breeding centres and protected areas for the saiga, as well as an increase in the number of mobile anti-poaching units and more effective enforcement of anti-hunting laws.

The UK team's work to save the species is focusing on both the reproductive biology of saiga antelopes and the role of hunting in villages local to their habitat. Project leader Eleanor Milner-Gulland of Imperial says:

"Although we discovered that local people are well aware of the risks to the saiga and are strongly committed to supporting conservation efforts, our initial research found that poaching is still rife and well-organised.

"There is still a relatively healthy population of saigas breeding within Kalmykias Chernye Zemli Biosphere Reserve, and we are working with the authorities to strengthen the capacity of this reserve to protect the species."

Hunting is the main cause of the saiga's decline, both for meat and for the horn, which is used in traditional Chinese medicine. The break-up of the Soviet Union added to this problem, leading to a shortage of funding for agencies protecting the antelope and also an opening up of borders with China that facilitates the trade in saiga horns.

Research led by Dr Milner-Gulland published in March 2003 revealed that selective hunting of the male saiga for its horns has caused females to outnumber males by a ratio of 100:1.

"The saiga is an important species for the steppe ecosystem because it is the only large wild herbivore that grazes there," she adds."It is also a national emblem in many parts of its habitat, and has a strong connection to the nomadic history of the Central Asian peoples - a connection that is now at risk."

Funding for research to conserve the saiga antelope is provided by the UK Government's Darwin Initiative, which has committed 150,000 over three years. The Kazakh government has also committed funding of $800,000 this year to protect the species.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Imperial College Of Science, Technology And Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Imperial College Of Science, Technology And Medicine. "International Team Urges Action To Save Threatened Antelope Species." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 July 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/07/040709084225.htm>.
Imperial College Of Science, Technology And Medicine. (2004, July 12). International Team Urges Action To Save Threatened Antelope Species. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/07/040709084225.htm
Imperial College Of Science, Technology And Medicine. "International Team Urges Action To Save Threatened Antelope Species." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/07/040709084225.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Ice Age Wooly Mammoth Remains for Sale

Raw: Ice Age Wooly Mammoth Remains for Sale

AP (Sep. 23, 2014) A rare, well-preserved skeleton of a woolly mammoth is going on sale at Summers Place Auctions hope the 11.5-foot tall, almost intact specimen will fetch between $245,000 to $409,000. (Sept. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fox Bites Conn. Student And School Staffers In Rare Attack

Fox Bites Conn. Student And School Staffers In Rare Attack

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) A fox attacked a second-grade boy at a Connecticut elementary school Monday. It also attacked two school staff members and a woman and her dog. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Will Living Glue Be A Thing?

Will Living Glue Be A Thing?

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) Using proteins derived from mussels, engineers at MIT have made a supersticky underwater adhesive. They're now looking to make "living glue." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Tiger Kills Man at India Zoo

Raw: Tiger Kills Man at India Zoo

AP (Sep. 23, 2014) A white tiger killed a young man who climbed over a fence at the New Delhi zoo and jumped into the animal's enclosure on Tuesday, a spokesman said. (Sept. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins