Saiga is an antelope species that was once found over a vast expanse of the Eurasian steppe. It has become critically endangered because of habitat loss and poaching. These rare animals are often hunted for their horns, which are believed to have medicinal properties. In 2015, its population further dwindled because the climate change has triggered a usually harmless bacteria living in the antelope’s nose to become more dangerous and cause deadly blood poisoning.
Since 2019, the number of Saiga has increased in Kazakhstan from 334,000 to 842,000. This breakthrough is attributed to relentless conservation efforts, government crackdown of poaching and the antelope’s natural resilience.