The saiga (Saiga tatarica) in captivity, with special reference to the Zoological Society of San Diego



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.


Zoological Society Zoological Garden Goitred Gazelle Tibetan Antelope Saiga Antelope 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bannikov, A.G. (1963) Die Saiga-Antilope. Neue Brehm-Bücherei, No. 320, 1143, Wittenberg, LutherstadtGoogle Scholar
  2. Crandall, L.S. (1964) The Management of wild mammals in captivity. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Ill.Google Scholar
  3. Dolan, J. (1977) The saiga (Saiga tatarica): a review as a model for the management of endangered species. Int. Zoo. Yrbk. 17, 25–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Fontaine, P. (1965) Breeding saiga antelope, Saiga tatarica, at Dallas Zoo. Int. Zoo Yrbk. 5, 57–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Hastings, Duke of Bedford (1949) The years of transition. Andrew Dakers, London Heptner, V.G., A.A. Nasimovic and A.G. Bannikov (eds) (1966) Die Säugetiere Sowjetunion. Jena, 1.Google Scholar
  6. Mohr, E. (1943) Einiges über die Saiga, Saiga tatarica L. Der Zool. Garten Leipzig (NF) 15, 175–85Google Scholar
  7. Pohle, C. (1974) Haltung und Zucht der Saiga-Antilope (Saiga tatarica) im Tierpark Berlin. Der Zoologische Garten Jena 44, 387–409Google Scholar
  8. Vereschchagin, N.K. and G.F. Baryshnikov. (1984) Quaternary mammalian extinction in northern Eurasia, in P.F. Martin and R.G. Klein (eds) Quaternary extinctions. University of Arizona Press, Tucson, Ariz., pp. 483–516Google Scholar
  9. Voss, G. (1969) Breeding the pronghorn antelope, Antilocapra americana, and the saiga antelope, Saiga tatarica, at Winnipeg Zoo. Int. Zoo Yrbk. 9, 116–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Zimmermann, W. (1980) Zur Haltung und Zucht von Saiga-Antilopen (Saiga tatarica tatarica) im Kölner Zoo. Z. Kölner Zoo 4 (23), 120–7Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Hiroaki Soma 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Zoological Society of San DiegoSan DiegoUSA

Personalised recommendations