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.

Related Articles


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 January 26, 2015 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 January 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, January 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Florida Might Legalize Black Bear Hunting

Florida Might Legalize Black Bear Hunting

Newsy (Jan. 24, 2015) A string of black bear attacks has Florida officials considering lifting the ban on hunting the animals to control their population. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Killing Large Portion Of Ape Population

Ebola Killing Large Portion Of Ape Population

Newsy (Jan. 23, 2015) Experts estimate Ebola has wiped out one-third of the world&apos;s gorillas and chimpanzees. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Controversy Shrouds Captive Killer Whale in Miami

Controversy Shrouds Captive Killer Whale in Miami

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) Activists hope the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) will label killer whales endangered, allowing lawyers to sue a Miami aquarium to release an orca into the wild after 44 years. Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
‘Healthy’ Foods That Surprisingly Pack on Pounds

‘Healthy’ Foods That Surprisingly Pack on Pounds

Buzz60 (Jan. 23, 2015) Some &apos;healthy&apos; foods are actually fattening. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) shines a light on the sneaky foods like nuts, seeds, granola, trail mix, avocados, guacamole, olive oil, peanut butter, fruit juices and salads that are good for you...but not so much for your waistline. Video provided by Buzz60
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