What Is Killing Off Kazakhstan’s Rare Antelope?
by Mark Baker and Merhat Sharipzhan
Herds of one of Central Asia’s most iconic animals, Kazakhstan’s saiga antelope, are dwindling rapidly and no one seems to know why.
The Kazakh Department for Emergency Situations says more than 19,000 saiga carcasses have now been buried in the country’s Qostanai region, though unofficial reports on May 20 suggested the number of dead animals may already exceed 30,000.
“It’s shaping up to be a complete catastrophe,” says E.J. Milner-Gulland, a U.K.-based academic who heads the Saiga Conservation Alliance, a network of conservationists working to study and protect the antelope.
“I’m afraid the animals are still dying and we are not actually getting a final number yet,” she adds. “I’m expecting that number to go up quite substantially in the coming days”…
(read more: Radio Free Europe)