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Mass Die-off: 40 pct of Kazakhstan’s Saiga Antelope Died in 16 Days

Posted by feww on May 27, 2015

More than 120,000 saiga carcasses found in Kazakhstan since May 11: Agriculture Ministry

Mass deaths of saiga antelope have been reported in Kostanai, Aktobe and Akmola regions of Kazakhstan. An emergency situation has been declared in northern Kazakhstan.


Carcasses of dead antelopes litter the ground in the Zholoba area of the Kostanai region. Agriculture Ministry

The saiga antelope, classified as critically endangered, have been around since the Ice Age.

Excerpts from Internet translation of the Ministry’s website:

The Ministry of Agriculture has held a special meeting to identify the causes of mass deaths of the saiga antelope in Kostanai, Aktobe and Akmola regions.

Work on the disposal of saiga antelopes in Kostanai and Aktobe regions has been completed. Counting is carried out at the burial of dead animals. It should be noted that the mass deaths of calving saiga occurred  in Kostanai region, which is not a permanent habitat for the saiga. Winter saiga live in the southern regions of the country, but with the onset of spring they migrated north. Thus 90% of the total number of the dead wildlife are female.

According to the latest data, an additional 8,502 carcasses were disposed in Zharkainskom and Zhaksynskom areas of Akmola region. Arrangements for monitoring the state of wildlife and to identify the causes of mortality continue.

According to the Kazakhstan Association of Biodiversity (ACBK), there were more than 300,000 saiga antelope in Kazakhstan in 2014, about 50,000 heads more than there were in 2013.

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