FRESHWATER ECOSYSTEM INCLUDING PEATLANDS | WWF

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Freshwater ecosystem including peatlands

© Дэлхийн байгаль хамгаалах сан

Nested target: In AHEC – Taimen (Hucho taimen) -Largest fresh water salmonid listed as Globally “Vulnerable” in IUNC redlist. In ASER - Mongolian grayling (Thymallus brevicostris) –endemic to the landlocked rivers flowing into large lakes in Altai mountains

Conservation goals

By 2025, an environmental flows of key rivers (Onon, Ulz, Kherlen, Zavkhan, Khovd and Buyant) are maintained in the ASER and AHEC.

Conservation target current status

The Great Lakes Basin of western Mongolia is an aggregation of several closed inland depressions, or endorheic basins at ASER: surface runoff generated within the basin remains inside its boundaries and never drains to an ocean. The region includes a globally outstanding assemblage of distinct landscapes, including high mountain ranges with glaciated peaks, deep and wide valleys, forests, forest steppes, large lake and wetland complexes, semi-desert areas, and the Gobi Desert.

Onon and Kherlen rivers that start from Khentii Mountain range in Mongolia are considered as headwater of Amur Heilong river. The Mongolian part of AHEC ecoregion has also more than 400 smaller lakes covering a total area of about 1,450 square kilometers. Wetlands other than rivers and lakes are also valuable components of the Amur-Heilong ecosystem. They regulate and mitigate floods, improve water quality, and provide food, habitat, and breeding sites for many animals, especially fish and waterfowl.

Over the past three decades Mongolia had witnessed drastic decrease in peatlands areas resulting from grazing and agricultural conversion and mining that destroys small peatlands at the headwaters of rivers are destroyed by mining. It is estimated that carbon emissions from Mongolia’s peatlands are at close to 45 million tons per year, which makes Mongolia the seventh largest global emitter of CO2 from egrading peatlands.

© WWF Mongolia

Asian flyways

© WWF Mongolia

Nested targets: In EAAF - Red crowned crane (Grus japonensis), Whitenaped crane (Antigone vipio) In CAF - Dalmatian pelican (Pelicanus crispus)

CONSERVATION GOALS

By 2025, safe migrations of iconic migratory birds along Asian flyways (CAF&EAAF) is ensured through coordinated and effective and efficient management of selected stopover and breeding and wintering sites (Ramsar sites).

Conservation target current status

Mongolian wetlands and water bodies are the home to many endangered species whom they breed in Mongolian wetlands and lakes, such as White-naped crane (Antigone vipio), Asian Great bustard (Otis tarda dybowskii), Dalmatian pelican (Pelecanus Crispus), Relict gull (Larus relictus), White-headed duck (Oxyura leucocephala) and Swan goose (Anser cygnoides) during the summer.

Moreover, those wetlands serve as a crucial stopover and summering sites for the migrating birds, for example Siberian crane (Leucogeranus leucogeranus), Red crowned crane (Grus japonensis) and Pallas’s fish eagle (Haliaeetus leucoryphus), along the East Asia-Australasian and Central Asian flyways. Without such stopover and summering sites in Mongolia, not only above mentioned species but also many long distance migrating species would suffer the migration, even face a very real danger of extinction, especially Asian population of the Dalmatian pelican (Pelecanus Crispus) and Asian Great bustard (Otis tarda dybowskii). 

Wetlands and water bodies along the East Asia-Australasian and Central Asian flyways in Mongolian territory is facing a drastic changes for last few decades due to climate change and rapid increase of the livestock.

© WWF Mongolia