Drop in the Ocean of Saiga’s ‘Tears’

  Following the data of the Alliance for Conservation of Saiga, the results of the project competition have been summed up and the winners have been identified. We can say, the initiatives that should contribute to the struggle for conservation of saiga breed have received the support.
    Lately there is much talk about the conditions of this unique species of antelope. It became the victim of the most cruel poaching extermination. Many efforts are aimed at the resolution of this problem; for example a number of  international projects are launched, multilevel meetings are organized, the researchers are implemented, but the problem of saiga conservation remains very actual.

The matter is that projects, meetings and discussions work for perspectives, but hunting for saiga is carried out today.
    The meeting of the Organizing Committee was held in Ulan Bator. The applications for receiving of small grants, handed in this year, were considered there. The program is being implemented with the financial assistance of CIC and the Network for Conservation of Wild Nature.
    The program of small grants of SCA assists to the projects on conservation of saiga in its habitats, strengths the possibilities of people and is aimed at implementation of priority actions of the Medium-dated International Work Program MoB on saiga conservation of the Convention at the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals. Only five people from China, Mongolia, Uzbekistan and Russia were selected as winners.
    Names of the projects that received the assistance, tell us about their contents. For example, the representative of China will be researching the traffic of raw materials (most often it is mail saiga’s horns) to the Chinese market of traditional medicine and also carrying out the social campaign with the support of force structures.
    Two representatives from Mongolia will be finding the resolution of overlapping of pasture areas of Mongolian saiga on the areas of domestic cattle pasture. This problem is probably more actual for Mongolia, than for Uzbekistan.
    The Russian will be researching the migration of saiga in environs of the Baskunchak lake.
    The representative of Uzbekistan will be training in craftsmanship and needlework skills the women of several Ustyurt settlements with the hope that they or members of their families will be distracted from poaching and they engaged in cross-stitching or modeling of clay figurines of saiga. The craftsmanship is likely to suppress the sense of hunger for some time and hands will be occupied at the same time, if guns are replaced by knitting needles or tambour. But there is no assuredness that crafts will become a beneficial article and who will buy simple embroideries in the middle of Ustyurt steppes?
    As a result, the community seems to do something, but it is a drop in ocean. It cannot operatively, radically remove the real threat to the conservation of saiga on the Earth.
    Whose fault is it and what is to be done? May be the specialists united into the Alliance for Conservation of Saiga will give answers to these questions because they study this problem.



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