Good (hopefully) news from Saiga Antelopes!
We would like to share a significant milestone in Saiga conservation journey—the saiga antelope has transitioned from Critically Endangered to Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List (http://saiga-conservation.org/2023/12/11/saiga-antelope-a-conservation-triumph-and-ongoing-challenges/). Many people in several countries worked hard for saiga populations’ recovery. It is heartwarming to know that these beautiful truly unique mammals which we were lucky to watch, photograph and study for 11 years, are doing well. However, doubts about the population numbers and conquences of this transition spoil our joy. Being in very close contact with people protecting the only remaining population of Saigas in Russia we believe that the claimed numbers (38,000) are way too optimistic. In this context, the decrease of protection efforts which will possibly follow the transition of conservation status may put the Saiga Antelope’s sustainable future at risk. Nevertheless, let’s hope for the best for Saigas!
A&K aka Travelling Zoologists