The Saiga

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“When we lose an animal species to extinction, we lose a part of our family.” (Anthony Douglas Williams) An endangered species is a group of classified animals that the population is declining to a number that there will soon be nothing left of them. Endangered species face lots of threats like poachers, climate change, deforestation, diseases, and more. The saiga is a captivating and front-page animal.

 

The population depends on the status, threats, and conservation being done to help the animal. The saiga population was 1 million a few decades ago but has since declined to 50,000. A specific type of saiga is the Mongolian saiga which the population is down to 750. By having these kind of numbers the saiga status is critically endangered. Some of the threats that have caused the saiga to decline are bacteria or diseases, poaching, destruction of habitats and migration routes, and the sex ratio. The poachers have been hunting and killing the saiga for their horns. The conservation people and organizations have been doing like funding and getting laws passed for federal land are truly helping the animal. Scientists hope if we protect the saiga from poachers we will increase the population. Where this animal is populated has an affect on what it eats and how it looks.


This saiga and its shape are strange looking. The saiga has a trunk like nose that is humped, flexible, and large. A male saiga has a larger nose than the female. The nose in the summer filters out the dust and in the winter the nose turns cold air into warm air.  Also, the male saiga has curved horns with black tips that are 10 inches in length. In the summer, the saiga has a cinnamon colored coat. In the winter, the saiga has a longer thicker white coat. The saiga stands about 2 to 2 1/2 feet (60 to 80 centimeters) and measure about 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 feet (110 to 140 centimeters) long. The saiga weighs about 45 to 110 pounds (20 to 50 kilograms). The taxonomic name is the saiga Tatarica. The saiga’s appearance depends on where there habitat is.


The saiga’s habitat is where they find their food. The saiga is found in Central Asia in Kalmykia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Mongolia (subspecies), and the Russian Federation. They are now extinct in these areas China, Poland, Ukraine, and Moldova. In the summer, they migrate to grass steppes and in the winter they migrate to the southern desert. Their habitat is open dry grasslands, semi-arid deserts, and low growing vegetation areas. The saiga eats vegetation. The saiga’s habitat has an influence on their behavior.
The saiga’s behavior influences its reproduction. The proportion varies males 1% to females 10% which means there are less males than females. Most saiga’s have twins when they give birth. The saiga migrates in the summer and winter as I have said before. The saiga matters because their ecosystem needs them without them the grass would grow so long people would need to trim it. When they go to trim it they might use a lawnmower which pollutes the air. The behavior of the saiga depends on reproduction.


The saiga is a captivating and front-page animal. Poachers need to stop hunting the saiga, people need to stop destroying their habitats and migration routes, and we need to find out what disease they have and we need to find a cure for it. “Shoot us with cameras not guns.” (unknown)






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