Reports have reached the Secretariat that an outbreak of what is thought to be peste-des-petits ruminants (sheep and goat plague) is occurring among the Saiga Antelopes in Mongolia, where already more than 1,000 individuals have died and the epidemic is continuing.
In 2010 and 2015 mass die-off events have been observed in Saiga antelope of the Ural and Betpak-Dala populations in Kazakhstan. In intervening years, smaller die-offs of hundreds to a few thousands of animals have also been observed. These are the first such reported incidents after the dramatic decline in numbers in the 1990s, which led to the current status of a critically endangered species. Only a few thousand animals were left in 2003. Hunting of Saiga antelopes is forbidden and the species is protected by international conventions.