Published on February 4, 2014
December 4 – Wildlife Conservation Day Conservation of the Saiga Antelopes – The Nomads of the Central Asian steppes Rayna Farnsworth Bakhtiyor Mukhammadiev U.S. Embassy Tashkent David Paradise Scott Epstein Marzhan Srymova U.S. Embassy Astana Ted Massey Arzigul Ovezlieva U.S. Embassy Ashgabat
Wildlife trafficking – the illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife parts – is a soaring black market worth $10 billion a year, second only to arms and drug smuggling. Oct 2012: Tanzanian police have seized more than 200 elephant tusks hidden in a coffin and in fertilizer bags, pointing to rising poaching in the east African country. The 214 tusks are estimated to be worth about £820,000. Aug 2007: seizure of illegal wildlife products in Russia of 480 bear paws, a Siberian tiger pelt and bones, and 20 kg of wild ginseng, all destined for China. The smuggling gang involved received jail sentences of up to 8 years. Feb 2010: Tiger carcasses confiscated in Thailand, from illegal traders. This confiscated bodies would have been used in traditional Chinese medicine. The Tiger Temple, Thailand, cont ributes to this illegal trade. Oct 2012: In South Africa 455 rhinos have been lost to illegal killings. The street value of rhino horns has soared to $65,000/kg. The poaching is driven by the use of their horns in Chinese medicine and a belief – unfounded in science – that they cure cancer. Jan 2008: Forest police in Kunming, China, seized 30 Saiga horns and arrested the wholesale market trader.
What are Saigas? Latin name: Saiga tatarica. Appearance: In summer, the saiga’s coat is a rich chestnut color and its belly and legs are pale. In winter, it has a thick, pale buff coat and the males’ noses swell for the rut. Subspecies: (1) Saiga tatarica tatarica lives in Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and, in extremely cold winters, Turkmenistan; (2) Saiga tatarica mongolica lives in Mongolia, and until the 1960s, China. Habitat: Arid Eurasian steppe. Height: Roughly the size of a goat, measuring about 70cm tall. Weight: Males weigh about 41kg and females about 28kg. Diet: Grasses, herbs and shrubs. Predators: Wolves and foxes. Eagles take calves. Status: Listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List due to decline from a million in early 1990s to just six per cent of that by 2005.
Mongolian population Ural population Pre-Caspian population Ustyurt population Betpak-dala population
Why protect Saigas?
The saiga is endangered because people hunt for the males for their horns and when there are no more males the species can not reproduce and dies off.
http://www.thechinesesouplady.co m/saiga-antelope-horns/ --- The saiga horn is a rare and highly prized ($100/kg) ingredient in Chinese medicine; --- The horns are found in various forms such as dried, thinly sliced (or flaked as pictured), ground into a powder, or cut into tiny pieces; --- In traditional medicine of the East Asian countries, it is believed to an excellent painkiller and antibiotic, and is used to treat many ailments such as headaches, fever, congestion, deliri um (although there is no reliable scientific studies that prove this!).
Russian Federation Mongolia Kazakhstan Uzbekistan Turkmenistan
Signing ceremony of the MOU on the Saiga antelope UNEP Headquarters, Nairobi, Kenya November 23, 2005 The MoU aims to reduce current exploitation levels and restore the population status of these nomads of the Central Asian steppes All Signatories agree to collaborate to improve the conservation status of the Saiga antelope throughout its range, and undertake national and joint activities to conserve restore and sustainably use the species and those habitats and ecosystems important for its long-term survival. Signing of the MOU on the Saiga antelope by Turkmenistan November 23, 2005 Signing of the MOU on the Saiga antelope by Uzbekistan May 23, 2006 Signing of the MOU on the Saiga antelope by Russian Federation June 23, 2009
USAID SCAPES – Sustainable Conservation Approaches in Priority Ecosystems USAID/SCAPES activity in the Ustyurt Plateau: A Landscape Approach to Reconcile the Conservation of Central Asian Steppe with Local Sustainable Development Implementing partners: Pact, Inc., Fauna & Flora International, BirdLife International, ACDI/VOCA The saiga as a flagship species to foster long-term transboundary sustainable management of the Ustyurt, provide opportunities for local communities to develop alternative livelihoods, and encourage extractive industries to integrate conservation into their operations.
U.S. Strategy to Combat Wildlife Trafficking 1. Diplomatic Outreach The United States joined with leaders at the 2012 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum to issue a joint statement on wildlife trafficking 3. Training, Technology ,and Law Enforcement 2. Public Diplomacy 4. Partnerships U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s “Buyer Beware” exhibit at Logan International Airport Global System of Regional Wildlife Enforcement Networks Regional Fisheries Management Organization
December 4 – Wildlife Conservation Day To raise awareness and combat wildlife trafficking Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Remarks at the Partnership Meeting on Wildlife Trafficking, Washington D.C., November 8, 2012 http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2012/11/200294.htm “…we are increasingly seeing wildlife trafficking has serious implications for the security and prosperity of people around the world. Local populations that depend on wildlife, either for tourism or sustenance, are finding it harder and harder to maintain their livelihoods. Diseases are spreading to new corners of the globe through wildlife that is not properly inspected at border crossings. Park rangers are being killed. And we have good reason to believe that rebel militias are players in a worldwide ivory market worth millions and millions of dollars a year…” “…It is one thing to be worried about the traditional poachers who come in and kill and take a few animals, a few tusks, a few horns, or other animal parts. It’s something else when you’ve got helicopters, night vision goggles, automatic weapons, which pose a threat to human life as well as wildlife…”
What Can You Do? Photo by Alexander Esipov Learn more about the Saiga Celebrate Saiga Day! (April 2013) Share the information you learned today with your friends and family You can make a difference! Photo by Alexander Esipov
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