Rotating cows

Project person name
Professor Iu.A. Arylov
Start date
01 October 2005
End date
30 September 2006
Project Organisation
Saiga Conservation Alliance
Project Funder
DEFRA’s Small Environmental Projects Scheme
Imperial College London
Rotating cows as a tool for conserving saiga antelopes
Project objectives
To convert our understanding of the development needs of local people into action, targetting the poorest members of communities near the CZBR for support. To link explicitly support for rural livelihoods with action to protect the critically endangered saiga antelope. To engage local people, particularly children, in activities promoting sustainable regeneration of the rural economy, and to promote pride in their natural environment. To create a partnership for action between local people, protected area managers, saiga conservationists, and local government.
Project activities
Our previous research shows that a single dairy cow can transform the lives of the poorest families. We will use the land and facilities available near the CWA’s Saiga Breeding Centre to establish a small herd of a premium local breed of pasture cattle (Kalmykian Red cattle). This herd will form the basis of a rotating cow fund, linking village cooperation in reducing poaching to concrete support for poor families. Target villages are those around the CZWR where poaching is occurring but villagers are keen to cease poaching and work with us instead.
Project outcomes
Two poor families will receive cows, veterinary support, fodder & infrastructure. Two participating villages will link development activities to saiga antelope conservation, and will ensure that poaching incidents are reported in their area, and that villagers do not poach. Local schoolchildren will receive fresh dairy produce and information about the importance of conserving the local environment and of ensuring that revival of the livestock sector is environmentally sustainable. The CWA’s Saiga Breeding Centre will be promoted as a visitor attraction, environmental awareness centre and