Effectiveness of conservation of the saiga antelope in Kazakhstan and Russia

Project person name
Ekaterina Parfenova
Start date
01 November 2014
End date
01 November 2015
Project Organisation
In the framework of the International Master of Environmental Sciences at the University of Cologne
Project Funder

The legislative framework for species and habitats conservation in Kazakhstan and Russia was studied and information on legal instruments for saiga protection was summarized. The thesis provides analysis on achievements and failures of conservation legislation and its impact on the conservation status of the saiga antelope. The study revealed that the governments of both countries implemented conservation efforts, although, the approaches varied slightly.

Project activities

1. Possible indicators to assess effectiveness of legislation for conservation of the saiga antelope have been selected: change in population numbers, law enforcement, change in area under conservation. 2. Legal instruments existing in Kazakhstan and Russia for conservation of species and habitats have been reviewed. 3. The effectiveness of legislation for saiga conservation in both countries has been assesses based on the chosen indicators. 4. The recommendations for improving the effectiveness of conservation for the saiga antelope have been provided.

Project outcomes

The analysis suggests that the saiga population was recovering in the presence of governmental conservation programmes, increasing governmental funding for protection and monitoring as well as in the presence of adequate law enforcement, including detection of offences and convictions. It is recommended that the range states show political commitments to saiga conservation through governmental programmes or action plans, improve law enforcement and management of the species. This thesis can be a foundation for further research on the impact of conservation legislation.

Project targets

The goal of this thesis was to analyze how effective existing legislation addresses saiga antelope conservation and make recommendations on how the conservation can be improved.