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Saiga Antelope (Saiga tatarica)

Posted on Dec 19, 2007 by in Ungulates | 2 comments

Saiga tatarica

Number 0076

I just love these guys; sadly, saigas are severely endangered, owing to habitat destruction and, especially, widespread poaching—their horns are a valuable ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine. In fact, their numbers have plummeted almost 95 percent in less than 20 years, a rate that is unheard of and very alarming.

They live on the steppes of central Asia. Some think their strange proboscis helps filter out the dust; others think it heats up the air they breathe before it reaches their lungs.

I came snout-to-snout with a stuffed saiga specimen at the Wagner Free Institute of Science in Philadelphia. I hope I can see a live one someday. I hope it’s even possible.

The saiga is number 62 on the EDGE list of 100 evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered species.

Saiga conservation in Russia


  1. Very cool project! I’m sorry that I can’t donate, but if I could submit a request anyway? I’d really like to see any kind of otter, sea otter, river otter, any kind. I just like ’em. Whenever you could get to it would be fine.

  2. Of course you can make a request! Thanks, Lydia. I love otters too.

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