Emergency fodder supply for wild ungulates | WWF
Emergency fodder supply for wild ungulates

Posted on 11 March 2019

From first days of February the condition in Altay Sayan ecoregion in Western Mongolia has become particularly critical because of the frequent snowfalls that blanketed the short and scarce standing grasses on which the herbivores depend. Therefore, the WWF Mongolia has started emergency actions to protect globally endangered Mongolian saiga antelope and wild ungulates. Locally produced hay was delivered and placed in the Shargyn gobi, Khuisiin gobi where population of Mongolian saiga occurs.
From first days of February the condition in Altay Sayan ecoregion in Western Mongolia has become particularly critical because of the frequent snowfalls that blanketed the short and scarce standing grasses on which the herbivores depend. Therefore, the WWF Mongolia has started emergency actions to protect globally endangered Mongolian saiga antelope and wild ungulates. Locally produced hay was delivered and placed in the Shargyn gobi, Khuisiin gobi where population of Mongolian saiga occurs. Mr. B. Batsaikhan, a Saiga ranger team leader, said “it had snowed a lot in saiga ranges, the snow thickness reached 20-25 cm in some areas. So, it is really hard for wildlife, in particular for the Mongolian saiga because they are not able to access to grass as natural grass growth was bad in last summer. That’s why, we have started placing hays for the wildlife such as Mongolian saiga and black tailed gazelle in the region. Since there are really few Mongolian saiga left in the wild and every individual counts or the species existence, biotechnical measure is necessary as a last approach. These interventions would be helpful for the wildlife to survive and overcome this harsh winter condition”.                 
There are some facts on declining populations of Mongolian saiga due to a number of threats such as harsh natural and weather conditions, outbreaks of contagious diseases, and illegal hunting. For instance, the droughty summer of 2001 was followed by the dzud (heavy snowfall) and harsh winter condition of 2002. As a consequence, population size of the Mongolian saiga dropped to only 750 individuals. The effort made by environmental community, including the WWF Mongolia backed by the MAVA foundation, reversed the disastrous situation and saved the Mongolian saiga population from the brink of extinction. In 2014, the species population size reached 14,000 animals and distribution ranges increased by 13 percent.  However, there was another concern: a outbreak of goat plague disease occurred at the end of 2016 and its population size dramatically decreased to less than 5,000 as of March, 2017.  As of December 2018, only 3800 mongolian saiga left, specialists of WWF Mongolia said.    
 
WWF Mongolia has started emergency actions to protect globally endangered Mongolian saiga antelope and wild ungulates.
© WWF Mongolia
Since there are really few Mongolian saiga left in the wild and every individual counts or the species existence, biotechnical measure is necessary as a last approach.
© WWF Mongolia