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   About Mongolia » The spirit of nature

Mongolia of Genghis Khaan, the spirit of nature

Mongolian endless land is not only empty place but also it provides habitats for wild species, such as the snow leopard, the Gobi bear, the wild camel the wild mountain sheep, the wild ass, and other rare animals. The survival of half of the country?s peoples, nomadic herdsmen move by horse or camel in harmony with the nature. The country has now faced the challenge of opening its doors to the world while protecting its natural and cultural heritage. As its wilderness regions become more accessible, the Mongolian government has undertaken a process of creating protected areas and national parks.

Mongolia can be roughly divided into three zones: grassland and shrubs (52% of the country), forests (15%) and desert vegetation (32%). Less than 1% of the country is used for human settlements and crop cultivation. Forests of Siberian larch, siberian and scotch pine, and white and ground birch, cover parts of Northern Mongolia.

In Gobi, the saxaul shrub covers millions of hectares and is essential in anchorting the desert sands and preventing degradation and erosion.

  • It is represented by 3000 species of flowering plants, 875 fungus, 300 species of microorganismus spread across the vast territory of the country.
  • Now 136 species of mammals, 436 species of birds, 8 amphibians, 75 species of fish and mollusks have been registered in Mongolia.
  • There are very rare wild animals such as bactrian camel, wild horse, gobi bear, saiga antelope, goitered - black tailed gazelle, argali - wild mountain sheep and snow leopard.
The wild two-humped bactrian camel, camelus bactrianus ferus, is indigenous to Mongolia. It was domesticated at least three thousand years ago. Camels are raised all over Mongolia, but are found particularly in the four gobi aimags (provinces in the south).
Snow leopard
The mountain regions of Gobi-Altai are home to the beautiful and elusive snow leopard. Up to 50 kg in weight, and about 1 m long, snow leopards can easily kill an ibex three times its size. An estimated 7500 snow leopards live in an area of 1.5 million sq km across China, Pakistan, Afganistan, India, Nepal, and Mongolia (where 1000-1500 live).

Gobi bear
It is eastimated that there are approximately 50 wild gobi bear surviving in the hilly, rocky areas of the Gobi Desert. These animals are very rare and have been under threat since the 1960s. The population fluctuates from year to year due to the harsh mongolian climate and shortages of food and water. The gobi bear live mainly in the stricted protected area of the Gobi Desert so are now less frequently disturbed by livestock and people. Some supplementary feeding is being undertaken.
The takhi (the mongolian wild horse), also known as the Przewalski Horse (named after the polish explorer who first "discovered" the horse in 1878) in Mongolia, this species of horse is called "takhi?" a word that reflects a reverence for horses. Takhi means spirit, or spiritual, in mongolian. At the present time about 1.200 takhi are living in captivity around the world.
These are very rich in species, including the wild camel, wild ass, gobi argali sheep, gobi bear, ibex, black - tailed gazelle, and allkind of birds(migrant and other). In the wide open steppe, you may see the rare saiga antelope, mongolian gazelle, the jerboa rodent and millions of furry marmots. Further north in the forests, the wild bear, brown bear, antelope, wolf, reindeer, elk, musk deer and moose, as well as plenty of sable and lynx are roaming around.
Mongolia is home to over 400 species of birds. In the Desert, you can see the desert warbler, houbara bustard and saxaul sparrow, as well as sandgrouse, finch and the cinereous vulture. On the steppes, you will certainly see the most common bird in Mongolia - the grey demoiselle cranes - as well as varieties of hoopoes, the odd eagle and vulture. Other steppe species including the upland buzzard, steppe eagle, saker falcon, black kite, some assorted owls and hawks.

Rivers such as the Selenge, Orkhon, Zavkhan, Balj, Onon and Egiin, as well as dozensof lakes like Khubsgul Lake hold about 380 species of fish. They include trout, grayling, roach, lenok, siberian sturgeon, pike and perch, the endemic Altai osman and enormous taimen, a siberian relative of the salmon, which can grow up to 1.5 m long and weight 50 kg.

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