Saiga News celebrates its 10th anniversary!

Saiga News celebrates its 10th anniversary!

Saiga News was launched in 2006 as a newsletter for the whole community, with a mixture of news stories, research articles, updates from the press and announcements. Photo by: Andrey Gilev & Karina Karenina

Featured article by Elena Bykova (Executive Editor) and E.J Milner-Gulland published in Saiga News Issue 20 on page 3.

In 2004-2005, the saiga antelope was becoming a high profile species internationally, with the development of the Convention on Migratory Species' Memorandum of Understanding on the conservation of the species, which came into force in 2006.
Despite the international concern, there was no mechanism for exchanging information about the ecology and conservation of the species, and the actions being undertaken to conserve and study it throughout its range and internationally.

Much excellent work, particularly by range state scientists and conservationists, was going unnoticed, because of language barriers and because there was nowhere to publish it or read about it. So Saiga News was born, as a newsletter for the whole community, with a mixture of news stories, research articles, updates from the press and announcements. 

Since then, many people have written for Saiga News, working in all parts of the saiga's range, and including teachers, government officials, researchers and law enforcement officers. The newsletter is read in remote villages, Ministry offices, universities and international NGO headquarters. 

The Saiga Conservation Alliance is proud of their publication and of the sense of community that it has engendered as shown by the reflections of members of the Editorial Board about what Saiga News means to them.

Anna Lushchekina:

  • Over the last 10 years, the preparation of each new issue has given me the opportunity to meet friends and colleagues, many of whom later became long-term contributors to the newsletter. I have also learned a lot of new, interesting and important things about the saiga in different parts of their range, their fate in the past, the difficulties they face in the present and hopes for the future.

Chimeddorj Buyanna:

  • As an editorial board member, I am really grateful to read Saiga News and learn from experiences of community-centred saiga conservation in different countries. It also contributes to accelerating progress in different fields. Saiga News helps to gather different cultures and ethics and many different ways of life into one voice for saiga conservation. 

David Mallon:

  • Since its launch, Saiga News has regularly published articles on every aspect of the saiga, with consistently high editorial standards. One of the most impressive features is that it is published in several range state languages, making Saiga News a genuinely pioneering publication; it is a key element in saiga conservation.

Lkhagvasuren Badamjav:

  • I am more than happy and satisfied with Saiga News, and feel proud to be a member of the editorial team of this wonderful and important bulletin on saiga research, conservation and cooperation. Saiga News in a unique initiative, which has brought together all the specialists and experts working on saiga research and conservation, as well as an international instrument for decision makers and international conventions to address issues for its survival on a global and national level.

Aili Khang:

  • For me, Saiga News is a platform not only representing what different stakeholders are doing for saiga but also giving insights about what we can try. The recent saiga disaster alerts us that we need to look forward more, and this is one thing that Saiga News may need to think about.

Steffen Zuther:

  • Saiga News has been around for 10 years now and has proven to be the most important medium for exchange of information about conservation of this extraordinary species, the saiga antelope. It is crucial for everybody working for saiga, and the primary information source for anybody interested in the species.

Fenglian Li:

  • At first, I contributed my team's research results as an author in Saiga News; I learnt lots of information about saigas from other countries. Then I joined the editorial team focusing on the Chinese part, so that many Chinese people have the chance to learn more about saigas. I think that this is Saiga New's purpose.

Yuri Grachev:

  • The idea for Saiga News came from E.J. Milner-Gulland 10 years ago when we were establishing the Saiga Conservation Alliance. Back at that time we had some doubts about the implementation and effectiveness of this idea but they quickly dispersed. The general public was very interested in the first edition. Subsequently, the topics covered and the number of authors gradually expanded; readers got an opportunity to learn from this new source about everything that happened to the saiga in all countries of its range, and to react accordingly. The mission of the publication: "to exchange information on saiga conservation and ecology" is fully implemented and Saiga News should continue for certain.

Alexander Esipov:

  • The result exceeded all my expectations. We received essential funding and had a lot of ideas that are still fresh. Everyone involved in saiga conservation has benefitted from a good tool for their work. It is good that all issues are available online in six languages. I am absolutely sure that the newsletter will be in demand in the future so it is necessary to keep going with further issues. What is more, it is time to publish a book based on the articles to date. Many thanks to all the people involved!

We would like to express our deep gratitude to all the people whose donations of money and time, support the work of the Saiga Conservation Alliance. We particularly thank the WCN staff and volunteers for their support and advice, and members of the public in the USA and worldwide for their generous donations to our recent appeal. We are grateful to the organisations that have supported Saiga News Issue 20 - CMS, WCN, WWF-Mongolia and WCS-China.