From April 15 to may 15, 2020, a large-scale environmental campaign «Saiga»was held in Kazakhstan.
In order to combat poaching and strengthen the work on identifying and suppressing the activities of organized criminal groups specializing in poaching saigas, selling and purchasing their derivatives, as well as other types of wild fauna on the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan, a Joint order was signed by the Ministers of ecology, Geology and natural resources, internal Affairs and the Chairman of the national security Committee «on conducting the environmental campaign «Saiga».
Within the framework of the order, the composition of the coordination staff for interaction between law enforcement and environmental authorities during the environmental campaign was approved, as well as a joint action plan.
The action involved 200 inspectors consisting of several mobile groups, 6 roadblocks, 64 all-terrain vehicles, 16 KUNG-a, 5 motorcycles and unmanned aerial vehicles to carry out RAID measures to counter poaching.
This event was held with the participation of inspectors of the state enterprise «po «Okhotzooprom», territorial divisions Of the Committee of forestry and wildlife of the Republic of Kazakhstan AND law enforcement officers in the territory of Akmola, Aktobe, Atyrau, Zhambyl, West Kazakhstan, East Kazakhstan, Karaganda, Kostanay, Kyzylorda, Mangistau, Pavlodar and North Kazakhstan regions.
The population of saigas in Kazakhstan is 334,400 individuals. The results of environmental measures of the past years show that the demand for illegal extraction of saiga antlers is not decreasing. Thus, in 2019, 47 facts of saiga poaching were revealed, 641 carcasses and 284 saiga horns were seized, 203 administrative protocols were drawn up, 43 people were brought to criminal responsibility, and damage to natural resources amounted to 3.3 billion tenge.
Since the beginning of 2020, the inspectors of the forestry and wildlife Committee of the Republic of KAZAKHSTAN have revealed 16 facts of poaching for saiga, 381 carcasses and 367 horns of saiga were seized, and the damage to natural resources amounted to 1.08 billion tenge.
In 2019, in order to tighten the legislation for poaching, amendments were made to the criminal and Criminal procedure Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan, according to which severe penalties are provided for the fact of poaching, including imprisonment for up to 12 years and confiscation of property.
Management of saiga antelope during the rut
From November to December, saiga rut occurs in Kazakhstan. The mating period of animals takes place in remote places and males fight for the attention of females. Sexual maturity of males begins from 2-3 years, and in females from 6 months. During this period, the horns lose their strength and often become victims of predators and poachers.
In order to preserve the saiga population during the rut, the inspectors of the RSE» po «Okhotzooprom» strengthen their work on animal protection and together with the territorial inspections of forestry and wildlife conduct operational raids to prevent violations of environmental legislation.
The Committee of forestry and wildlife encourages local residents to be careful not to disturb the saiga during the rut. Since this process determines the success of the campaign to increase the number of three saiga populations in the spring.
We remind you that for illegal saiga hunting, there is a fine of 500 MCI for a male, 350 MCI for a female and a juvenile, as well as a criminal penalty in the form of imprisonment.
According to the results of the 2019 air census, the number of saigas was 334,400 individuals.
Thanks to conservation measures, the annual growth of the saiga population in Kazakhstan is at least 40 %.