The saiga (Saiga tatarica) in captivity, with special reference to the Zoological Society of San Diego
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The saiga, Saiga tatarica, and its close relative the chiru or Tibetan antelope, Pantholops hodgsoni, are the only members of the tribe Saigini within the subfamily Caprinae. These two very distinct genera appear to form a convenient bridge between the antelopes on the one hand and the rupicaprines on the other. Palaeontology does little to help us trace the origins of these two peculiar genera. Nevertheless, it appears that they have evolved along separate lines since the latter part of the Miocene or early Pliocene. The chiru was once distributed throughout suitable habitat on the Tibetan Plateau. Today it appears to be in decline. George Schaller, in a recent faunal survey of various parts of Quinghai Province in northeastern Tibet, where the animal was once widespread, found that it now survives only in the southwestern corner of the province. Its future may well be a source of concern.
KeywordsZoological Society Zoological Garden Goitred Gazelle Tibetan Antelope Saiga Antelope
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