The magic of the “Golden Steppe”

Welcome to one of the greatest wildernesses on Earth. Altyn Dala – the “Golden Steppe”. A vast grassland dotted with wetlands stretching thousands of miles in every direction. Humans are few here, but the wildlife is abundant. Lark song fills the air. Eagles ride thermals overhead. And steppe antelopes – the saiga – follow ancient migration routes, moving with the seasons.

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Above: Wildlife of Altyn Dala

This place is unique, and it is threatened. Discover the wildlife and history of Altyn Dala and the audacious conservation effort taking place right now to save it.

Above: The Altyn Dala Conservation Initiative

An awesome plan for nature

In 2006, a group of national and international conservation partners came together to save Altyn Dala and stop the saiga antelope from becoming extinct. The scale of the challenge was huge. It would require innovation and ambition at every step, pushing into new frontiers of conservation science, and harnessing the latest technology, as well as good old-fashioned teamwork and field skills.

Celebrating our success so far

The Altyn Dala Conservation Initiative has already achieved so much. We set out to save the saiga from extinction, and we have succeeded. But there is much more to be done...

There are more threats to vulnerable wildlife to overcome. There is more land to protect. There are more lost species to be brought back to the steppe. And there is so much more to learn about the steppe and its unique wildlife. This is just the beginning.

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We’ve protected 5 million hectares for nature, an area larger than Denmark!

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We’ve restored saiga antelope numbers from a low of 20,000 to over 2.8 million.

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We’ve brought kulan (wild asses) and Kertagy (wild Przewalski's horses) back to central Kazakhstan.

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We’ve established ranger and aerial patrols and detection measures to tackle wildlife crime.

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We've celebrated the incredible wildlife of Kazakhstan with local communities and school children

Sunset over a dry, grassy Steppe

Latest from the project

Find out the latest news from the Altyn Dala partners and our teams in the field.

Help us protect Altyn Dala

We can only do this ambitious conservation work with the support of people like you.  

Would you like to contribute to the success of Altyn Dala? We would like to hear from you! There are a number of ways to support our work whether you are a donor, philanthropist, or researcher. If you’d like to learn more, please get in touch.

The iconic Saiga Antelope