The saiga antelope is a critically endangered antelope which during antiquity inhabited a vast area of the Eurasian steppe spanning the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains in the northwest and Caucasus in the southwest.
Prone to being hunted for their horns, the Saiga Antelope is now one threat level above being totally extinct.
During 2014-15 a bacteria called pasteurellosis caused a catastrophic decline in numbers, once infected herd fatality is 100%, with an estimated 40% of the species’ total population already dead.
Prior to the deaths, the global population of saiga stood at around 262,000.
The decimation of the Betpak-Dala herd means that there are now fewer than 75,000 in existence.