MEP intends to establish a special squad to protect the saiga in Kalmykia

Ministry of Environment is planning to organize a special unit for the protection of saiga living in Kalmykia and the Astrakhan region, said the agency.

The number of saiga in the northwest Caspian depression in the last 50 years has decreased from 700 thousand to five thousand. In recent years, as the department, the main cause of population decline, have become poachers who shoot animals for horns used in the preparation of medicines in oriental medicine.

"Among the primary measures of protection was considered necessary to provide specialized unit for saiga conservation of at least 20 people to keep the clock and year-round support of the saiga," — said the MEP.

As explained to RIA Novosti press-service of the ministry, for the creation of a special squad to additional funding, a request to Ministry of Natural Resources plans to soon send to the government.

In addition, the Ministry of Natural Resources is going to offer in March 2013 at the regular session of CITES (the international convention governing the rules of trade in rare species of animals and their products) to ban trade in saiga horns. This will require to include this in the first application of the convention. assigned to this type of first category of protection

At the meeting at which measures to protect the saiga, attended by experts from Ministry of Environment, Republic of Kalmykia, as well as representatives from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Russia, Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Research Institute for Nature.

Saiga — cloven-hoofed mammal of the subfamily of these antelopes. In 2002, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) this species was classified as being in a critical condition. Now antelopes are found only in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, with calls to Turkmenistan, Russia (Kalmykia and the Astrakhan region) and western Mongolia. Ministry of Natural Resources intends to soon make the saiga antelope in the Red Book of Russia.

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