Tests are still being conducted, but it's most likely an
outbreak of peste-des-petits ruminants, or "sheep and goat plague",
that has spread in livestock throughout the region.
The Saiga Conservation Alliance is working with governmental
agencies, rangers, the Wildlife Conservation Society and
WWF-Mongolia to investigate the outbreak, identify 'hot-spots' and
stop it before it does more harm to saigas.
However, there is cause for hope. Saiga conservationists in the
region were well prepared to handle this outbreak because of the
emergency protocols that were developed after the tragic die-off in
Kazakhstan in 2015.
Additionally, vaccination of livestock can control this
disease, and the Mongolian authorities are already well on the way
to vaccinating the millions of livestock that live in the area. The
Mongolian government has committed some funding for public
awareness and saiga protection measures, although much more is
The Saiga Conservation Alliance will continue to support the
Mongolian authorities to address this issue head on to end the
outbreak and help get the Mongolian saiga population back in good