Survival of the Saiga
The saiga antelope, one of the world’s most endangered mammals, may soon disappear because there are not enough males to go round.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the saiga almost disappeared because of intensive hunting and a few harsh winters. It was only in the 1930s that the saiga population started growing again, under the protection of the Soviet authorities.
By 1950, the recovery allowed commercial hunting to develop in Kazakhstan and Kalmykia. The saiga population was maintained at around a million, thanks to the efforts of the Soviet forest department and a reproduction pattern that allowed the species to grow by up to 60% over one year.