Two Years Later: Mongolian Antelope Still Struggling

Mar 29th

2019

CategoryPosted in DSC News Center

In 2017, the goat plague rattled the already endangered
Mongolian subspecies of the saiga antelope. In the wake of the virus, initial numbers
were estimated at 7,500 remaining antelopes after the deaths of 2,500
individuals.

You might remember this DSC
News Center Article
or reading it in a spring 2017 DSC
Publication.

But after all the estimates and predictions, what is the
situation two years later?

Current numbers estimate about 3,800 Saiga antelope in
Mongolia.

After the virus finally died out, the continued decline is
attributed to a food shortage from the drought weather conditions that followed
the disease outbreak.

The Mongolian steppe’s limited rainfall, hot summers and
cold winters create a harsh climate for wildlife, which is why there are only a
few species that call it home.

Efforts to support the endangered antelope’s recovery are
on-going. Talks of possible relocations are taking shape as many factors continue
to work against the natural recovery of the species.  

The Mongolian Saiga Antelope are part of what the World
Wildlife Fund has named the “Great Gobi Six,” along with the Wild Bactrian camel, Gobi bear, Takhi or
Mongolian wild horse, and Khulan or Mongolian wild donkey. They are a group of
endangered animals that represent the overall health of the Gobi ecosystem.

Source: Xinhua, China’s
News Agency

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