Large noses help filter out dust
Saiga Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Saiga tatarica
Saiga Physical Characteristics
Brown, Grey, Yellow
Top speed
80 mph
30-45kg (66-99lbs)
Saiga Distribition

The Saiga is called the big- nosed antelope

Growing in the rough completely dry meadows of Central Asia, this one-of-a-kind- looking antelope is instantaneously well-known by its substantial nose with broad- established nostrils. The saiga’s nose is made use of for dirt purification, a needed device in its completely dry environment. These antelope have actually been noted as Seriously Endangered by the IUCN’s Red Listing considering that 2001. They are a yellow-colored- red shade in the summertime and grey shade in the wintertime. Males have horns that are a little bent in a lyre- like form.

Unbelievable Saiga Truths!

  • The saiga’s nose offers several objectives. It heats up the air in the wintertime, strains dirt in the summertime, and likewise magnifies mating telephone calls.
  • Saiga has actually experienced among the fastest decreases of any kind of animal, because of both poaching and yearly illness.
  • The saiga is an animal that can gather together in herds of around 1000 people.
  • Males concentrates every one of their power on their hareem throughout the reproducing period, which enhances their death price.

Saiga Scientific Name

The name Saiga is originated from the Russian word sajgák, which is a sort of chamois textile. There are 2 subspecies of saiga: Saiga tatarica and Saiga tartarica mongolica The leading subspecies, S. tartarica, is discovered over a broader array in Russia and Kazakhstan. The smaller sized subspecies, S. t. mongolica is just discovered in western Mongolia.

Saiga Appearance

These antelope are a light red- yellow shade with paler hair below in the summertime. Their wintertime layers are much longer and are a duller grey shade. They look similar to goats conserve for their big nose, which both males and females have. Their nostrils deal with downward. They have long, slim legs and a blocky body. Males have brownish-yellow- tinted horns that are a little bent. They stand at regarding 0.6- 0.8 meters high, and the largest saiga antelopes depend on 1.5 meters long. Females have to do with 3- quarters the dimension of males.

Wild saiga antelope, Saiga tatarica tatarica visiting a waterhole at the Stepnoi Sanctuary, Astrakhan Oblast, Russia

Wild saiga antelope, checking out a waterhole at the Stepnoi Haven, Astrakhan Oblast, Russia.

Saiga Habits

The saiga is an animal that can stay in teams of around 1000 people, however teams of 30- 40 are a lot more usual beyond the reproducing period. Huge herds of females move with each other prior to the reproducing period and afterwards broke up right into smaller sized teams. Huge teams of just males have actually been reported too. They take a trip approximately 72 miles a day in a nomadic way of life, and big mass movements occur so the saiga can prevent a rough wintertime.

Throughout the day, these antelopes forage on the meadow turfs and locate sprinkling openings. In the evening, they dig round perceptions in the planet prior to sleeping. Saiga is a nomadic species, however they do comply with some basic movement courses from north to southern. Fencings and boundaries in between nations frequently hinder these movement patterns.

The saiga’s nose is its most one-of-a-kind function and offers numerous objectives. In the summertime, the nostrils assist strain dirt from the surrounding setting. In the wintertime, the nose’s big surface assists heat the air as the saiga breathes it in. It is likewise believed that the nose assists magnify mating telephone calls throughout the reproducing period.

Saiga Environment

There are a couple of unique populaces of saiga, primarily of the leading subspecies S. tartarica. These populaces stroll the semi- dry meadows of Central Asia, consisting of Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Kalmykia. They choose completely dry problems. Bigger herds of these antelope gather together in primarily level locations, lacking hillsides and doing not have in harsh and tough surface.

Saiga Diet

These antelope are herbivores. They forage daily on thousands of various ground- home plants in the Main Eastern steppes. They choose turfs, lichens, sagebrush, and summertime cypress. Most of the plants in the saiga’s diet are dangerous to various other animals.

Saiga Predators and Dangers

Grownup saiga autumn target to wolves, their all-natural predators on the Eastern levels. Youthful antelope are preyed upon by feral dogs and foxes. These antelopes can go for a broadband, and utilize this rate to get away predators on the steppes.

Humans are without a doubt the largest danger to the continuing to be saiga antelope populaces. These antelopes have actually been via several circumstances of population decrease and were safeguarded by the Soviet Union starting in 1921. After the autumn of the Soviet Union, defenses on these animals disappeared for fairly a long time. This remains in component what added to their high population decrease.

Country areas in China and Central Asia came under destitution after the Soviet Union’s autumn. Saiga meat and horn are very searched for – their horns are especially useful in Chinese medication. Huge quantities of poaching and searching drove the species right into decrease. Poachers frequently speed up right into the herds with bikes in order to target big quantities of the antelopes. Due to the fact that male saiga is targeted for their horns, this frequently indicates that there are insufficient males to mate with females throughout the breeding period.

These animals are likewise vulnerable to a variety of yearly ailments and infections that even more endanger a currently Seriously Endangered species. A microbial infection called pasteurellosis was the failure of hundreds of saiga antelope in 2010 and 2015. This infection exterminated hundreds of people and impacted several parts of the saiga population.

Saiga Reproduction and Life Process

Females are sexually fully grown within the initial year of their life, whereas males do not get to sex-related maturation up until they are 2 years of ages.

Throughout the reproducing period, saiga antelopes divided right into smaller sized intrigues with one male and regarding 5- 10 females. The males will certainly battle with their rounded horns for control of the hareem, safeguarding it from elbowing in males that wish to take them away. The battles that burst out in between saiga antelopes are fierce and can frequently be deadly. The males do not forage whatsoever throughout the reproducing period, as they invest every minute safeguarding their hareem of females. This indicates that 80- 90% of male antelopes pass away throughout the breeding period, either while safeguarding their hareem or catching poor nutrition.

Female antelopes have a gestation duration of around 5 months. They bring to life a couple of young, which remain concealed in the turf. These young are called calf bones. They invest regarding 8 days in the turf up until they have the ability to walk. After 4 months, the young are discouraged from their mommies.

These antelopes live in between 10- 12 years in the wild.

Saiga Population

There are presently 5 significant populaces of these antelope throughout their Main Eastern array. The overall variety of saiga out there is unidentified, however approximates area them in between 50,000 to 150,000 people. Their populaces made use of to number in the millions.

Preservation initiatives have actually kept in mind a boost in their spawn in 2019. The previous year, just 58 saiga calf bones were birthed and counted by scientists. In 2019, that number mored than 500. This is insufficient by itself to conserve the decreasing populaces of endangered saiga antelopes, however it is an indication that preservation initiatives might be functioning.


  1. Wikipedia, Available here:
  2. Wiktionary, Available here:
  3. Saiga Antelope, Available here:
  4. Fauna & Flora International, Available here:
  5. WCS Mongolia, Available here:
  6. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Available here:
  7. Animal Diversity Web, Available here:
  8. Britannica, Available here:
  9. Animals Network, Available here:

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