Target species conservation

Przewalski's horse or Takhi, (<i>Equus ferus przewalski</i>)  / ©: WWF-Canon / Hartmut JUNGIUS
Przewalski's horse or Takhi, (Equus ferus przewalski) is the only true wild horse left in the world.
© WWF-Canon / Hartmut JUNGIUS

Species conservation in Mongolia

Mongolia boasts a wide variety of wildlife: 139 species of mammals; 450 species of birds (331 migratory and 119 resident within Mongolia year round); 22 species of reptiles; 6 species of amphibians; and 76 fish species.

Mongolia’s remoteness, low population density and traditional nomadic lifestyle are named as major factors for preserving high level of biodiversity. However, pressure on natural resources is growing due to an increasingly imbalanced economic growth policy.

Protection, sustainable use and equitable sharing of benefits from biodiversity resource are an essential component for WWF Mongolia’s conservation program.

This program has a decade-long legacy in species conservation practice targeting Snow Leopards (Uncia uncia), wild mountain sheep - Argali (Ovis ammon) and Saiga antelope (Saiga tatarica mongolica) in their natural habitats. They are key species for the Altai-Sayan Mountain Ecoregion, representing the best of high-mountain ecosystem diversity and connectivity (in terms of prey-predator and cause-effect relationships).

For the Daurian Steppe, the next priority ecoregion for WWF Mongolia, gazelles (Procapra gutturosa) have been selected as the flagship species.

By achieving conservation of these species, WWF Mongolia believe that many other species sharing the same habitat and under the same threats will be protected.

TARGET SPECIES

WWF Mongolia has prioritized under its Conservation Program species of high importance. They have been selected according to their characteristics of flagship species; their ability to represent the eco-region at best and their contribution to overall protection of ecosystem health and protection of other species sharing the same habitat and threats.

WWF Mongolia priority species include for:
Altai-Sayan Eco-region:

  • Snow Leopard (Uncia uncia) ;
  • Argali Sheep resident to Altai Mountainous region (Ovis ammon ammon);
  • Mongolian Saiga Antelope (Saiga tatarica mongolica )

Daurian Steppe Eco-region:

  • Mongolian Gazelle (Procapra gutturosa)

What WWF are doing

We at WWF Mongolia have identified the following major issues and their root causes to be addressed under the newly designed Conservation Program covering the period from 2005 through 2010:

  1. Species Loss (over-harvesting & wildlife trade; climate change; pollutions causing extinction and genetic mutations);
  2. Habitat Loss (overgrazing; imbalanced economic growth);
  3. Disturbance of ecosystem connectivity, species interaction and migration;
  4. Weak policy enforcement and conservation management