New Road Threatens Critically Endangered Saiga Antelope in Kazakhstan

The construction of a new road in Kazakhstan has caused concerns for conservationists who say that this could threaten the endangered saiga antelopes.

Conservationists say that the 1,273-km highway which will connect central and western Kazakhstan, should be redirected, as it can disrupt the antelopes’ migration routes.

Aleksei Koshkin of the Korgalzhyn Nature Reserve said, “As far as I know, saiga will never go into a tunnel under a road or over a bridge. The saiga is a freedom-loving steppe animal,” he told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

The dominant antelope subspecies surviving is now only found in Kazakhstan and Russia.

State-owned Kazavtozhol, which will build the highway, said that rerouting the road would make it longer and more expensive, but they assured that it will be creating 44 crossings for wild animals.

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