Consumption and Conservation: Assessing the prevalence and nature of the illegal trade and consumption of the pre-Caspian saiga population - Forrest Hogg, MSc Thesis
Illegal hunting continues to threaten the Critically Endangered saiga antelope, Saiga tatarica tatarica¸across central Asia. The pre-Caspian population, southwest Russia, is facing a precarious future, attributable to heavy and persistent poaching for the antelope’s sought-after horn and to a lesser extent, meat. The trade and use of saiga horn is well-recognised, but there are many layers of uncertainty concerning the nature and prevalence of saiga meat consumption, and its respective trade. Saiga horns are also known as ling yang (羚羊) and used in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
The study explores the social norms underpinning consumption behaviour, and reveals an association between perceived social norms regarding the acceptability of saiga meat and its consumption. Results from this study form a foundation for future research, and stress the need for greater understanding of the human dimension surrounding saiga poaching, trade and consumption.