Robinson, S. J. ; Singh, N.; Zuther, S.

Saiga antelope die-off and calving sites in Kazakhstan

This dataset records the Saiga antelope die-off and calving sites in Kazakhstan. It represents the locations (and where available dates) of (i) die-offs and (ii) normal calving events in the Betpak-dala population of the saiga antelope, in which three major mass mortality events have been recorded since 1988. In total, the data contains 214 saiga die-off and calving sites obtained from field visits, aerial surveys, telemetry and literature.

Locations derived from field data, aerial surveys or telemetry are polygons representing the actual size and shape of the die-off or calving sites; locations sourced from the literature are point data around which buffers of 6km were created, representing the average size of calving aggregations.

Of the 214 locations listed, 135 sites for which environmental data were available were used to model the probability of a die-off event. The collection and use of these data are written up in more detail in papers which are currently under review (when published links will be added to this record).

Saiga antelope are susceptible to mass mortality events, the most severe of which tend to be caused by haemorrhagic septicaemia following infection by the bacteria Pasteurella multocida. These die-off events tend to occur in May during calving, when saigas gather in dense aggregations which can be represented spatially as relatively small sites. The Betpak-dala population is one of three in Kazakhstan, located in the central provinces of the country (see map).
Publication date: 2017-09-12