Ministry of natural resources of the Russian federation

       Polistovsky National Nature Reserve

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October 28 - Saiga antelope is in danger

The saiga antelope will be listed in the Red Data Book of the Russian Federation

This was announced by Dmitry Belanovich - the Director of the Department of State Policy and Regulation in the sphere of environmental protection of the Ministry of Russia at the 3rd Meeting of work on the Memorandum of Understanding concerning Conservation, Restoration and Sustainable Use of the Saiga Antelope (MOU) which is held in Tashkent (Uzbekistan) from 26 to 29 of October.

The meeting is attended by countries that have signed the Memorandum acting within the framework of the Bonn Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan), as well as the representatives of China, the CITES Secretariat and nonprofit organizations.

During the meeting, delegates will discuss the summary report on the progress of the MOU goals and adopt a medium-term international work program for the 2016-2020.

In his welcoming speech, D. Belanovich drew the meeting participants' attention to the problem of reducing the number of saiga antelopes because of human intervention in the natural processes of habitat and migration: "In Russia, saiga antelope hunting is completely and universally prohibited, the saiga antelope is in the list of the most valuable wild animals belonging to species protected by international treaties. Illegal hunting and trafficking of the saiga antelope is punished with an imprisonment up to 7 years. However, it is also necessary to deepen and intensify cooperation with the countries where the saiga antelope dwell, consuming countries and CITES to prevent illicit trafficking of saiga antelope horns."

In this connection D. Belanovich raised the question of revising views on saiga antelope conservation strategy: "In Russia much has been done in this regard. The saiga antelope is already included in the Red Data Book of the Republic of Kalmykia, Orenburg and Omsk regions, and it is offered to include the saiga antelope in the Red Data Book of the Russian Federation. After the procedures established by law, this list will be approved by the order of the Ministry of Russia. "

D. Belanovich also hoped that the platform of the International Conference will give an opportunity to develop specific recommendations: "The further fate of the saiga antelope depends on the efficiency and effectiveness of the decisions taken by the countries where this species still dwells. Only the consolidation of efforts of all stakeholders, experience exchange and scientific potential, as well as the involvement of the public will lead to a fracture of the situation, conservation and restoration of the once large herds of saiga antelopes."

Recall, the Russian Federation is the habitat for all saiga antelope population of the North-West Caspian. On the basis of expert assessment it can be said that the state of saiga antelope population of the North-West Caspian is critical, currently its population, probably is no more than 4.5 thousand, and the downward trend isn't changing.

The unfavorable state of the saiga antelope population of the North-West Caspian is reflected in the principal decision to list it into the Red Data Book of the Russian Federation.

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