Wild male saiga antelope (Saiga tatarica) visiting a waterhole at the Stepnoi Sanctuary, Astrakhan Oblast, Russia. Photo credit: Andrey Giljov [CC BY-SA 4.0 ]

As recently as the 1970s, when Earth Day was first celebrated and CITES came into being, saiga numbered well over 1 million individuals. However, the species repeatedly experienced drastic declines in the late 20th century.

The saiga antelope lives in the open steppe/grassland habitats of Central Asia in nomadic herds of up to 1,000 individuals. Photo credit: Rich Reading
Running saiga. Photo credit: Joel Berger/WCS

Mongolia has proposed transferring the saiga to CITES Appendix I at the upcoming CITES meeting. That step would halt all international commercial trade and recognize the endangered status of this unique antelope.

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