The saiga population of the Northwestern Caspian region began to recover

The saiga population of the Northwestern Caspian region began to recover

Source: Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation
Thanks to the efforts of the management team of the Steppe Nature Reserve (Limansky district of the Astrakhan region), the saiga population of the Northwestern Caspian Sea is recovering. Vyacheslav Rozhnov, academician, scientific director of environmental and environmental projects and international programs at the Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution of the Russian Academy of Sciences, who recently visited the reserve, came to this conclusion. This is reported on the website of the Environmental Management and Environmental Protection Service of the Astrakhan region.

"From a minimum value of 2.5 thousand, the number of artiodactyls in the Steppe has grown to 20 thousand individuals. The total population is estimated at 26 thousand individuals," the report says.

For several years, the staff of the Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution of the Russian Academy of Sciences has been studying the behavioral ecology of saigas in the reserve. Research is being conducted in a number of areas, including using remote monitoring.

As noted in the nature management service, in December, the relict antelope goes through a rut period - in the reproduction zone, which occupies more than 54 thousand hectares of the reserve territory, males actively form harems.

"Vyacheslav Rozhnov positively assessed the conditions of the rut," the message says.

According to the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia, in 1998, Russian scientists recorded a sharp decrease in the number of saigas, after which they decided not to open a hunt for them. In 2013, the saiga was included in the list of especially valuable wild animals belonging to the Red Book species.

In 2015, the population of the northwestern Caspian region was at a threatening level: no more than 3.5 thousand individuals.

According to scientists, factors such as dangerous weather events, diseases, the influence of agriculture and industry, and artificial barriers led to the reduction in the number of saigas. In addition, a few years ago, due to the high cost of horns on the "black market", animals were of great interest to poachers, the Ministry of Natural Resources notes.

Today, saiga is among the priority objects of the animal world of the federal project "Conservation of biological diversity and development of ecological tourism" of the national project "Ecology". And two years ago, a strategy for the conservation of saiga in Russia was approved.
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