Mongolia’s saiga antelope called most threatened

Mongolia's saiga antelopeAn international report claims Mongolia hosts the most endangered antelope species in Asia.

The saiga antelope in Mongolia was labeled the most threatened in Asia. Its numbers have diminished to about 50,000 from 1.2 million three decades ago.

The antelope herds in Mongolia also are found in Kazakhstan and Russia.

The report was issued by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

"The status of several species has become worse since the last complete assessment of all antelopes in 1996," it said in a statement.

"Unsustainable harvesting, whether for food or traditional medicine, and human encroachment on their habitat are the main threats," said Philippe Chardonnet, co-chair of the antelope specialist group of the IUCN.

"Most antelopes are in developing countries, which is why it's critically important that we collaborate with local communities there since it is in their own interest to help preserve these animals," he said in a statement.

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