Every year on May 5th the world celebrates International Saiga Day. The idea of ​​creating a holiday arose in December 2010, when representatives of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Russia gathered in Uralsk at a seminar organized as part of the “SOS Saiga!” project.

The saiga or saiga is a steppe antelope with an unusual proboscis. The beast can be considered unique: it appeared 50-70 thousand years ago, saw the era of mammoths and lived to this day. But such a long history does not help it survive in the modern world – the species is considered endangered.

There are 5 main populations of the species, 3 of which are in Kazakhstan, one in Russia (Kalmykia) and one in Mongolia. Some saigas winter in Uzbekistan. In 1996, the saiga was included in the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). It is not included in the Red Book of Kazakhstan, but belongs to the species for which hunting is now completely prohibited. Therefore, from the point of view of the law, responsibility for its illegal production is the same as for a “Red Book species”.

Single individuals of saiga from the Betpakdala-Arys group are found in the southwestern part of the territory of the Ile-Balkhash reserve.


photo: Rostislav Mashin/WWF Russia

5 мая — Международный день сайгака

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