Animalia > Chordata > Mammalia > Artiodactyla > Bovidae > Saiga > Saiga tatarica

Saiga tatarica (saiga)

Endangered Species

Status: Critically Endangered
View IUCN Record: Saiga tatarica

EDGE Analysis

The saiga is a very distinctive looking antelope, with a large, proboscis-like nose which hangs down over its mouth. Renowned for its high reproductive potential, the species was thought to be able to withstand even relatively high levels of hunting for its horns - less than 20 years ago, the total saiga population stood at more than one million, and appeared relatively stable. However, intensified poaching pressures during the 1990s, coupled with a breakdown of law enforcement following the collapse of the Soviet Union, caused numbers to plummet to fewer than 50,000 in just one decade – one of the most sudden and dramatic population crashes of a large mammal ever seen.
Uniqueness Scale: Similiar (0) 
 Unique (100)
Uniqueness & Vulnerability Scale: Similiar & Secure (0) 
 Unique & Vulnerable (100)
ED Score: 7.73
EDGE Score: 4.94
View EDGE Record: Saiga tatarica


Adult Weight [1]  76.06 lbs (34.50 kg)
Birth Weight [2]  7.716 lbs (3.50 kg)
Female Weight [1]  61.73 lbs (28.00 kg)
Male Weight [1]  90.39 lbs (41.00 kg)
Weight Dimorphism [1]  46.4 %
Diet [3]  Herbivore
Diet - Plants [3]  100 %
Forages - Ground [3]  100 %
Female Maturity [2]  11 months 1 day
Male Maturity [2]  1 year 10 months
Gestation [2]  5 months 2 days
Litter Size [2]  2
Litters / Year [2]  1
Maximum Longevity [5]  12 years
Migration [4]  Intracontinental
Snout to Vent Length [5]  4.198 feet (128 cm)
Weaning [2]  87 days


Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Bogdhad Mountain Biosphere Reserve 318000 China  
Chernye Zemli Biosphere Reserve Zapovednik IV 621951 Russia  
Kaplankyr Zapovednik State Nature Reserve Ia 1293994 Turkmenistan  

Biodiversity Hotspots

Name Location Endemic Species Website
Mountains of Central Asia Afghanistan, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan No

Prey / Diet

Anabasis aphylla[6]
Bassia villosissima (prostrate summercypress)[6]
Camphorosma monspeliaca[6]

Prey / Diet Overlap

Competing SpeciesCommon Prey Count
Procapra gutturosa (Mongolian gazelle)1
Pseudois nayaur (bharal)1


Institutions (Zoos, etc.)

Institution Infraspecies / Breed 
Dallas Zoo
Moscow Zoological Park
San Diego Wild Animal Park

Range Map


Europe & Northern Asia (excluding China); Southern Asia;

External References



Attributes / relations provided by
1Wildlife As Canon Sees It
2de Magalhaes, J. P., and Costa, J. (2009) A database of vertebrate longevity records and their relation to other life-history traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(8):1770-1774
3Hamish Wilman, Jonathan Belmaker, Jennifer Simpson, Carolina de la Rosa, Marcelo M. Rivadeneira, and Walter Jetz. 2014. EltonTraits 1.0: Species-level foraging attributes of the world's birds and mammals. Ecology 95:2027
4Myers, P., R. Espinosa, C. S. Parr, T. Jones, G. S. Hammond, and T. A. Dewey. 2006. The Animal Diversity Web (online). Accessed February 01, 2010 at
5Nathan P. Myhrvold, Elita Baldridge, Benjamin Chan, Dhileep Sivam, Daniel L. Freeman, and S. K. Morgan Ernest. 2015. An amniote life-history database to perform comparative analyses with birds, mammals, and reptiles. Ecology 96:3109
6Saiga tatarica, Vladimir E. Sokolov, MAMMALIAN SPECIES No. 38, pp. 1-4 (1974)
7Gibson, D. I., Bray, R. A., & Harris, E. A. (Compilers) (2005). Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London
Ecoregions provided by World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). WildFinder: Online database of species distributions, ver. 01.06 WWF WildFINDER
Biodiversity Hotspots provided by Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund