Saigas may disappear entirely in Russia in five years

Complete disappearance of the saiga in Russia could happen in five years unless urgent conservation measures at the level of the federal government, told RIA Novosti the head of the Russian steppe United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Yevgeny Kuznetsov.

"In the perilous state of the large animals in Russia is not a tiger and leopard and antelope.'m Afraid that there are only 5-7 thousand remained in place 815,000, which were in 1958. If today the government does not take steps to protect the saiga, we this kind of lose in Russia in general. If nothing is done, the antelopes, perhaps for more than five years "- said Kuznetsov.

As the expert said, by far the greatest threat to the saiga is excessive and unregulated production, as well as violation of key habitats and migration routes of the saiga. Due to the high demand for horn in traditional Chinese medicine, are destroyed mainly by males. Currently, only a few percent of the number — This is a male. With such a ratio males are unable to provide a full reproduction.

To improve the situation in Kalmykia is a Regional Reserve, to develop which will UNDP.

"At the request of the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Kalmyk we launch this year's work on the creation of a regional nature reserve, which covers a large area of over one hundred thousand acres between the reserve" Black Earth "and the Federal Reserve" Mekletinsky. "It will greatly enhance the status of the territory for the protection of saiga" — said the expert.

In his view, must also restore in Kalmykia saiga protection squad numbering 30 people, which existed in the Soviet period.

"Besides, no one government can not help, no organizations or foundations. Need a federal program, or we will lose this species, and it would be a shame country. We will only antelopes, which will come from Kazakhstan in Astrakhan and Volgograd region," — concluded Kuznetsov.

The saiga antelope (Saiga tatarica tatarica) — migrating hoofed mammal. A characteristic feature of the saiga is an elongated nose. When running antelope can reach speeds of up to 80 kilometers per hour. Earlier antelopes settled Eurasian steppes and semi-deserts of the foot of the Carpathian Mountains and the Caucasus to Dzungaria (northwest China) and Mongolia. Today, these animals are found only in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, partially capturing, Russia (Kalmykia and the Astrakhan region) and western Mongolia.

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