Launch of Saiga Resource Centre

Bonn/Astana, 18 June 2013

A Saiga Resource Centre (SRC) has been launched today in Astana, Kazakhstan, to provide an online forum both for experts involved in Saiga antelope conservation as well as for the interested public. The website will serve as an international coordination mechanism for the implementation of the Saiga MOU, as required by the Medium-term International Work Programme under the MOU.

The website has been developed by the Saiga Conservation Alliance (SCA) and the Association for the Conservation of the Biodiversity of Kazakhstan (ACBK), the two technical coordinators of the Saiga MOU, with support and funding from CMS and Switzerland. The website was launched and discussed during a technical meeting of the Saiga MOU community on 18 June 2013 in Astana, Kazakhstan

The SRC is designed as an information and communication platform including all relevant information regarding the endangered Saiga Antelope, its history, biology, geographical range and related conservation policy. The Centre comprises a comprehensive database of literature, images and videos for use by the Saiga conservation community, as well as a Specialist Resource Section, which includes a comprehensive database of Saiga experts and projects related to Saiga conservation. Government officials, NGOs, experts as well as interested individuals involved in Saiga conservation will have access to this section and be able to add their own expertise and projects as well as access information about other activities and experts.

The main objective of the website is to share information on the progress towards implementing the CMS Saiga MOU, and to invite Saiga Range States as well as States that consume or trade in Saiga products, to provide information and experience concerning activities in the framework of the MOU. It aims at facilitating reporting of activities related to Saiga conservation and how those contribute to the implementation of the Medium-term Work Programme 2010-2015, which Signatories adopted at their last meeting in 2010.

While participants at the Astana meeting spent the afternoon discussing the coordination mechanism, in the morning they focused on options for mitigating the negative impacts of current fence and railway infrastructure operations in Kazakhstan on Saiga populations. Participants learned of concrete recommendations for Saiga-friendly design of the fence along the border between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, as well as ways to mitigate negative impacts of a railway through Saiga habitat. These were contained in a report initiated by CMS, the Frankfurt Zoological Society and Flora and Fauna International. The report will soon be available for the general public.

Terrestrial species that undertake long distance movements are particularly vulnerable to linear barriers. Mitigating the impact of obstacles to migration in order to maintain the links among ecological networks is essential to the species conservation, and required by CMS Resolution 10.3.

Saiga Resource Centre

Last updated on 18 March 2014