Kazakhstan Ministry of Agriculture is planning to raise the population of saiga antelopes to half a million, Tengrinews.kz reports, citing Yerlan Nyssanbayev, head of the Forestry and Hunting Management Committee under the Ministry of Agriculture of Kazakhstan.
“We have good chances of bringing it (population) to over half a million. We will be working on it. And a time will come when this animals will will be doing all the work on their own,” Nyssanbayev said.
He also pointed out that funding of the effort had been substantially increased: the government allocated 14 million tenge ($94,594) on saiga protection in 2001 and 200 million ($1.4 million) this year. Saiga antelopes’ habitat covers the area of 100 million hectares in 10 regions of Kazakhstan.
Some time ago Minister of Agriculture of Kazakhstan reported that the number of saiga antelopes increased by one third in Kazakhstan. According to the data, obtained from aerial census made with the use of two AN-2 planes, saiga population amounts to 136,570 animals at present. This is 34.8% more than last year. But this data includes the animals (925 saiga) that died of pastereullosis in Zhangeldinskiy region of Kostanay oblast this May.
By Aidana Ussupova