The world is awaiting the launch of Sir David Attenborough’s newest Nature series ‘Seven Worlds’. An ambitious series that echoes the years chilling statements on the rising speed of climate change and our position of being ‘on the brink’. No ecosystem is left undisturbed and Mongolia is by no means the perfect, untouched ecosystem. Take a look at the top four threatened species in Mongolia and what can be done to help protect these wonderful animals.
This peculiar creature, part mole and part squirrel is under research in being the culprit for the infamous black plague; a disease which interestingly started just after the Mongolian Empire halted its expanse at the gates of Europe.
The Marmots favored home is the expansive grasslands but due to illegal hunting their numbers have declined by 90% over the past thirty years. Marmots keep grasslands healthy by digging tunnels that aerate the soil and spread nutrients. Marmots are hunted due to their meat and despite the hunting of marmots being declared illegal in the 1970’s hunting and selling of Marmot meat on the black market continues. As a visitor to the grassland steppe say no to Marmot meat by not purchasing it on the black market.
Przewalski's Horse –
This is the last truly wild species of horse that has never been domesticated. Hunted for its meat the numbers of this species dwindled and was thought extinct in the 1960’s. When a small group of them was re-discovered a huge effort was then made to preserve them. During your trip to Mongolia you are likely to discover this amazing animal in Khustai national park where you will have the chance to observe them from a distance. Help us encourage their protection by learning about the work being done at the national park and by supporting their operation.
Wild Bactrian Camel -
On a trip to Mongolia you are more than likely going to see Bactrian camels and even have the chance to ride one of these camels. These are camels that have been domesticated by the peoples of the silk road since 2500BC. Their wild, undomesticated cousin however is smaller and more lithe than the domesticated Bactrian camel and its numbers are dwindling due to hunting and environmental issues. Mongolia has made an effort to protect the Wild Bactrian camel through the setting up of the Great Gobi Reserve A and B s well as the wild camel breeding centre at Zakhyn Us. Anyone visiting the Gobi desert is highly encouraged to take a visit and support the great work being done there.
Mongolian Beaver -
This amazing creature has been cornered to a small zone of the Wulungu river of the Altay region. Hunted for its fur pelts and oil which is believed by locals to cure sexual impotency, now the Mongolian Beaver numbers just three - hundred. Fortunately, the Altay Wildlife Conservation Society are working towards protecting this animal as well as educating the local population. If you happen to take a trip to the Altay region make sure to enquire about the Mongolian beaver and look out for them on the Wulungu river.