The Saiga (Saiga tatarica) is an antelope which originally inhabited a vast area of the Eurasian steppe zone from the foothils of the Carpathians and Caucasus into Dzungaria and Mongolia. Today they are found only in a few areas in Kalmykia (Russia), Kazakhstan, and western Mongolia.The Saiga typically stands 0.6-0.8 meters at the shoulder and weighs between 36 and 63 kg. Their lifespan ranges from 6 to 10 years. Males are bigger than females and are the only sex to carry horns. The horns have some value as Chinese traditional medicine and for that reason Saiga are now endangered by poaching. The Saiga is recognizable by an extremely unusual, over-sized, and flexible, nose structure. The nose is supposed to warm up the air in winter and filters out the dust in summer.
Filed under: CRITICALLY ENDANGERED |