Reflections on the CITES decision about the international saiga trade: is it a positive move?

Enkhtuvshin Shiilegdamba

Editor’s Note: In August 2019, the saiga was discussed at the 17th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The decision was made by the Parties to CITES, with the unanimous support of the Range States, to keep the saiga on Appendix 2 (regulated trade) but to impose a zero quota. This effectively prohibits international commercial trade in wild saigas and their derivatives. Here we have two perspectives from colleagues who were directly involved in this decision. Although CITES recognises two species of saiga (Saiga tatarica and Saiga mongolica), IUCN and the SCA follow the best available genetic evidence in recognising one species; Saiga tatarica, with two sub-species, tatarica and mongolica.