Characterised by their long, wobbly and strange looking noses the Saiga live on the grassy Steppes of north Asia. This means hot summers and cold winters. Due to these extreme conditions their noses are specially adapted. In the summer it filters out the dust from the air and in winter it helps to warm up the air before it reaches their lungs!
DID YOU KNOW?
The Saiga are the prey to many animals such as Wolves but to get away they can run an incredible 80kph!
Type of animal: Mammal
Region: Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Russia and Mongolia
Maximum Length: Up to 1.2m
Diet: Grasses and Shrubs
Status: Critically Endangered
Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Russia and Mongolia
There is 1 specie of Saiga in the world and they are found in north Asia on the Steppes of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Russia and Mongolia . They are perfectly adapted for their environment due to their highly evolved noses.
CONSERVATION - HOW TO HELP THE SAIGA
Sadly the Saiga have the title of the fastest declining mammal species in the world. Much of this is due to the huge illness that effected the majority of the Kazakhstan population. Over 200,000 Saiga's died as a result of the disease. As well as this shocking blow to their numbers Saigas are poached for their unique horns and turned into medicines popular in China.
Working across the 4 countries in which the Saiga's live, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Russia and Mongolia, conservationists are monitoring the animals. This will help them to identify any future threats and illnesses and help them deliver precautionary treatments. Education of local communities is also vital in order to help prevent poaching and the illegal trade of Saiga horns.
Saiga do not do very well in captivity so you find none in zoo's. This makes it particularly hard to increase the population and introduce them back into other areas of the steppe.