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Saiga Antelope

Saiga Antelope Today’s Endangered All-Star is the Saiga, an important grazer on the Eurasian steppes. Poaching and habitat loss have driven it to historic lows in three remaining populations in Russia, Mongolia, and Kazakhstan: Millions once covered the steppes as far west as the Carpathian Mountains of Romania. The male’s horns are coveted in Chinese medicine, but The Guardian reports that China is attempting to battle illegal trafficking by rewarding game rangers and customs officials at an “Oscars-style” ceremony, the Second China Border Wildlife Conservation Award. Recipients included officers who had confiscated nearly 8,000 Saiga horns in the province of Xinjiang. “It sends a strong signal to reward people doing the dangerous job of tackling wildlife smugglers,” said Spike Millington of the EU-China Biodiversity Program. “China’s laws are not bad. The problems are always related to enforcement and implementation.”
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