Nature lovers and conservationists in Kazakhstan and across the globe are astounded by a rare disaster that has struck the saiga antelopes that once roamed free. The saiga antelopes of Kazakhstan have been pushed to the brink all of a sudden, with a whopping 121,000 carcasses of the animals having been found across the region. It is even shocking that the mass deaths have happened since a few days ago – around May 10!
The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) officials have confirmed the number, and for Kazakhstan, which boasts of around 90 percent of the world’s saiga population, this has come as a major shock.
No scientist has been able to explain this rate of mass mortality. The growing number of deaths has left conservationists, scientists and the government in a state of shock and worry. Even as the carcasses are adding to the number, there have been speculations about a link between the Russian space rocket launches and the mass deaths. However, the Kazakhstan’s Space Agency has ruled out such theories saying that they don’t see any such connection whatsoever.
Meanwhile, UNEP researchers have come up with findings that two pathogens, Pasteurella and Clostridia, appeared to be contributing to the mass deaths. However, it was also possible that the sagas could have been subject to weakening of their immune systems by some other factor; they have been quoted as saying.
If the deaths continue next year too, it is possible that the saigas would see the end of their existence on Planet Earth. It is being hoped that some measures would be discovered so as to help them live.
Scientists are now working overtime to unravel the mystery behind the saiga deaths, which could have been caused due to a combination of biological and environmental factors.
The sad end of the saiga population brings in added worries, considering that the species have been walking the face of the earth even during the Ice Age, and it is believed that they had shared space with the woolly mammoths.
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