Snow and Saiga

It's been blowing blizzards through all day here, following on from the wet of recent days, not good for the newly born lambs that are popping out now. On a nearby relation's farm, they've had quintuplets.

The site is pretty well up and running again, now all written using TextPattern but it actually started out as an uberdose Wordress theme called Zero. I just found it easier to create the extra pages and features needed in TxP.

Anyway, enough of that. I heard about another new animal today that is on the verge of extinction, the Saiga. Yes, I know there are probably literally millions of species that I haven't heard of (and some even that nobody knows of) that are on the verge of extinction, but this little fella is actually a reasonable size, big enough to eat in fact, and that's been half his problem.

Apparently there had been protection of little known species by the old USSR, but since it's collapse this protection ended and the combined ills of poverty and demand for Saiga horn in traditional Chinese medicine, has led to the state it finds itself in now having suffered a 96% crash in it's population.

Not the prettiest of creatures you may say, reminds me of some alien types from films (I'm sure they get their inspiration from nature, I know H.R. Gieger does) with this specially adapted flexible nose to filter dust in summer and warm air in winter. However, just because it doesn't have the high profile pull of Lion or Elephant, is not to say that it doesn't have an important part to lay within it's ecosystem and contribution to the wealth of the natural world.

Many creatures are in danger of slipping though the net and away from us altogether and that's why I support the FFI - where I heard about the Saiga - as they champion equally unglamorous or obscure species in accordance with the Convention on Biological Diversity. I think he deserves a bit of help.