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Home » Archive » 2018

TDK conference 2018

Saiga Antelopes on the verge of extinction: a study on the major causes leading to mass mortality events
Vasilev, Mihail - year 4
University of Veterinary Medicine Budapest, Department of Pathology
Supervisor: Dr. Míra Mándoki

Abstract:

The saiga antelope (Saiga tatarica) is a critically endangered ruminant that inhabits

certain areas of the Middle Asian steppe zones. Hunted for their horns, facing habitat loss and climate changes, their number has fallen sharply for the last 20 years. Racing with the time and fighting for their survival, their fate was sealed in 2015 when 60% of the entire world population was destroyed within a couple of weeks in Kazakhstan under unexpected circumstances.

An investigation was made in order to understand the reasons of the mass die-offs and Pasteurella multocida was found to be the primary lethal agent. The microorganism unreels hemorrhagic septicemia with blood poisoning and internal bleeding, followed by secondary factors, such as clostridial enterotoxaemia and theileriosis, resulting in fast mortality events. Further research has revealed a positive correlation between certain environmental factors and the pathogen proliferation of Pasteurella multocida, which is part of the normal flora of the respiratory tract of these antelopes.

In this study we will observe how certain environmental changes trigger a chain of reactions in this wild animal’s organism, focusing on mass mortality events related to saiga antelopes.



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