Today the ceremonial start of the event in the Liman Center for Culture and Leisure was given by a member of the Union of Photographers of Russia Yevgeny Polonsky, laureate of All-Russian competitions of photo works Alyona Ryzhova, Deputy of the State Duma of the Russian Federation Alexander Klykanov, head of the service of nature management and environmental protection of the region Sergey Smirnov, director of the Stepnoy reserve Vladimir Kalmykov.
The subject of the photographs is the saiga, its habitats, animals and plants of the steppes. There are 80 works by ten famous Russian photographers Evgeny Polonsky, Alena Ryzhova, Vladimir Anikeev, Dmitry Arkhipov, Svetlana Ivanenko, Gary Lidzhiev, Rostislav Mashina, Viktor Tyakht, Stanislav Shinkarenko, Alexei Shkolny.
The exposition is part of a large project “Save the saiga together” by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), which won the Presidential Grants Fund competition in 2021 in the area of Environmental and Animal Protection. The exhibition will run daily until May 15, from 8.00 to 17.00.
In the 1960s, the number of saigas in the North-Western Caspian region exceeded 800,000 individuals. Now there are about 7000 of them. The saiga is on the verge of extinction and is listed in the Red Book of the Russian Federation. Today it has survived only on the territory of the Stepnoy reserve (Astrakhan region) and the Chernye Zemli reserve (Republic of Kalmykia).
Federal and regional authorities, the scientific community, environmental organizations, in particular WWF Russia, and business are working together to increase the number of relict antelope. In recent years, the number of saigas increased by 2,000. Governor of the Astrakhan Region Igor Babushkin considers saiga conservation one of the most important tasks within the framework of the national project “Ecology”.