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Saiga numbers rise after mass die-off, reveals survey

Last year, approximately 200,000 Saiga's died in Betpak-Dala, Kazakhstan, in May, which became a cause of deep concern for conservationists.


Saiga numbers rise after mass die-off, reveals survey

New Delhi: Poaching, illegal trade and climate change are making our biodiversity fall into the snare of extinction. One of the species that has of late been labeled as crticially endangered, is the Saiga antelope.

Last year, approximately 200,000 Saiga's died in Betpak-Dala, Kazakhstan, in May, which became a cause of deep concern for conservationists.

As per scientists, the deaths were the result of a bacterial infection. However, a recent survey has brought good news, which makes us believe that there may be some hope for the migratory mammals.

The aerial survey carried out from April 18 to May 3, 2016, has revealed increasing numbers of Saiga population in Kazakhstan's Ural, Betpak-Dala and Ustyurt.

The surveys were conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan in partnership with the Association for the Conservation of Biodiversity of Kazakhstan (ACBK) and JSC “Kazaviaspas”, as per The Guardian.

Poaching being an immediate threat to the saiga population, male saigas are especially targeted by poachers for their horns that are used by the Chinese in their traditional medicine.

The Guardian further reported that scientists are continuing to investigate the conditions that could have led to the 2015 mass deaths.

From Zee News

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