Endangered antelope ‘may be wiped out’

Feb 8, 2017

By Victoria Gill

The death of more than 2,000 critically endangered Saiga antelope in Mongolia was caused by a disease that could now threaten the entire population.

Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) scientists, who work in the affected grassland area of Western Mongolia, say the disease originated in livestock.

It is a virus known as PPR or Peste des Petits Ruminants.

WCS veterinary scientist Dr Enkhtuvshin Shiilegdamba told BBC News that 2,500 Saiga had already died.

The animal carcasses are burned to prevent the spread of the disease.

Researchers described the speed of the disease spread as “alarming”.

“The first case of PPR was confirmed in the Saiga on only 2nd January this year,” Dr Shiilegdamba told BBC News.

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