Biotechnical measures proves to be effective
To monitor efficiency of the measures, WWF-Mongolia specialists recently downloaded the images from the automatic cameras placed in the “Sharga-Mankhan” Nature Reserve. They have found Mongolian saigas were feeding on the hays. Local people are pleased to join these efforts considered the biotechnical measures were a timely and efficient measure for the wildlife in the recent harsh weather conditions, under which the wildlife has been suffering from insufficient forage to feed on.
Due to the droughts during the summer of 2017, WWF Mongolia has closely been checking the rangeland condition in the Western Mongolia. From first days of January, the condition in Altay Sayan ecoregion has become particularly critical because of the frequent snowfalls that blanketed the short and scarce standing grasses on which the herbivores depend. Therefore, the WWF Mongolia has started emergency actions to protect globally endangered Mongolian saiga antelope and wild ungulates.
For instance, the droughty summer of 2001 was followed by the dzud (heavy snowfall) and harsh winter condition of 2002. As a consequence, population size of the Mongolian saiga dropped to only 750 animals. The effort made by environmental community, including the WWF Mongolia backed by the MAVA foundation, reversed the disastrous situation and saved the Mongolian saiga population from the brink of extinction. As of 2014, the species population size reached 14,000 animals and distribution ranges increased by 13 percent. However, there was another concern: a outbreak of goat plague disease occurred at the end of 2016 and its population size dramatically decreased to less than 5,000 as of March, 2017.