Important Step to Save the Saiga
Nairobi/Budapest, 23 November 2005
At the 8th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the conservation of the threatened Saiga antelope was signed today in Nairobi by Turkmenistan, Mongolia, the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), the CIC as well as IUCN and WWF International. Uzbekistan, another Saiga range state, will sign the MOU at a ceremony in Berlin in due course.
Saiga population numbers have dropped from 1 million around 1990 to some 31,000 individuals in 2003.The historical range of Saiga tatarica tatarica included the vast plains of the Central Asian and Pre-Caspian region. the reasons for the drastic decline in numbers are poaching and illegal trade in horns and other products, uncontrolled hunting activities, habitat desttruction as well as construction of infrastructure.
The MoU and its Action Plan focus on urgent measures to stop the decrease in Saiga populations and will assist the range states to better collaborate and coordinate their actions. The MoU also complements activities under CITES, as the Saiga is seen as flagship species for both Conventions.
Minister Makhtumkuli Akmuradov of Turkmenistan and CIC Director General Kai Wollscheid met after the ceremony and agreed on a close collaboration for Saiga and Buchara deer conservation, but also to address other wildlife and hunting related matters in Turkmenistan.
Read more: www.iisd.ca/cms/cop8/nov23.html
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