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Dzud's Devastating Impact: How Mongolia's Wildlife Struggles in Extreme Winters

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Dzud's Devastating Impact: How Mongolia's Wildlife Struggles in Extreme Winters
(June 05, 2024)   -   A harsh winter in Mongolia, known as a dzud, has caused heavy livestock losses and is also likely harming the country's wildlife. The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is particularly concerned about the impact on the Khulan (Asiatic Wild Ass), an animal already classified as "Near Threatened." The dzud's effects on wildlife are still unclear, but the massive die-off of livestock due to limited food and harsh conditions suggests similar problems for wild animals. The Khula...

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More Than 2 Million Gazelle Still Roam the Mongolian Steppe

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(May 01, 2024) A new publication in FirstView in Oryx sheds light on the status of Mongolian gazelle populations across Mongolia, Russia, and China, revealing both successes and challenges in the conservation efforts of this iconic species. Led by a team of dedicated researchers, the study provides the first global population estimates and highlights the threats facing gazelles in their range states. Read the study HERE. The study presents the first nearly range-wide estimate of Mongolian...

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Exploring Legal Insights into Mongolia’s Wildlife Trade

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(April 15, 2024) We are pleased to release our latest report: "Mongolia’s Wildlife Trade: An Analysis of International and National Legal Best Practices," now available in both Mongolian and English. This report marks the third installment in a series dedicated to understanding and addressing Mongolia's wildlife trade. WCS Mongolia partnered with Legal Atlas and the International Conservation Caucus Foundation to explore the legal frameworks surrounding wildlife trade. The main purpos...

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Dzud Crisis Situation Update- March 2024

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(March 31, 2024) As highlighted by both national and international media, a severe winter weather disaster — phenomenon known as a ‘dzud’ —  during the 2023-2024 winter has presented unprecedented challenges for the people of Mongolia. Wildlife is also experiencing dzud, however much less information is available on impact and trends. Recent reports by Mongolia’s Emergency Management Agency indicate the loss of over 5.2 million livestock animals by March 25th, 2024, rising from...

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Celebrating 20 Years of Wildlife Conservation: A Look Back at WCS Mongolia's 2023 Achievements

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(January 15, 2024) In 2023, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Mongolia embarked on a scientifically driven conservation journey in the South Gobi landscape, an area spanning over 100,000 km². 2023 marked the 20th anniversary since WCS's official registration in Mongolia, highlighting two decades of scientific inquiry and dedicated conservation efforts. In 2023, WCS Mongolia focused its attention on flagship and threatened species, including the Khulan, goitered gazelle, saiga antelope, and others...

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Country Reports-Predict Project

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(July 30, 2020) In Mongolia, the PREDICT project focused on improving the national capacity for wild bird surveillance and early detection of avian influenza in order to help address threats to domestic animals and human health. Wild birds are the evolutionary hosts for influenza viruses which cause a range of signs in people from mild illness to death. FAO estimates the global economic costs of losses in the livestock/poultry sector from highly pathogenic avian influenza since 2003 are in the billions of US do...

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After 65 years, a Desert Nomad Crosses a Railroad Track and Makes History

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After 65 years, a Desert Nomad Crosses a Railroad Track and Makes History
(June 11, 2020) The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) released a photo today of a single Asiatic wild ass or khulan (Equus hemionus hemionus) crossing a previously impenetrable barrier along the Trans Mongolian Railroad – the first known crossing by this near-threatened species into the eastern steppe in 65 years. The crossing is part of the new Trans Mongolian Railroad ‘Wildlife Friendly’ Fence Corridor, a project that creates simple modifications to existing fence designs that run the l...

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With new protections, saiga antelope may continue to be a symbol of Central Asia (commentary)

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(September 11, 2019) The saiga antelope has great cultural, historical, and ecological importance to Mongolia. So I was proud to be advisor to the Mongolian Government Delegation at the 18th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Geneva to ensure that the saiga received critically needed extra trade protections that will safeguard its survival for generations to come.Saiga antelope are classified as Critically En...

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International Workshop seeks to address the impact of linear infrastructure on the migratory mammals of Mongolia

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(September 06, 2015) Between August 24-28th, WCS provided technical assistance and support to ‘Implementing wildlife-friendly measures in infrastructure planning and design in Mongolia’, an international workshop, which was organized by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN), German Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS) secretariat, and the Mongolian Ministry of Environme...

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The Second National workshop on Mitigating the impacts of linear infrastructure on the movement of wildlife

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(December 26, 2014) This past Novemeber, WCS initiated and co-organized the second workshop on “Mitigating the impact of linear infrastructure on the movement of wildlife”. This workshop follows up on the first national workshop on “Road and railway crossings in Mongolia”, which took place in May 2013. The first national workshop shone the spotlight on this longstanding issue concerning linear infrastructure and its impact on wildlife movement, and was able to publically garner political wil...

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Crossing Documentary Opening

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Crossing Documentary Opening
(October 27, 2014) On World Environment Day (June 5th) of 2014, the Wildlife Conservation Society launched their newly released documentary titled 'Crossings'. This documentary introduces the challenges of promoting development that also respects conservation concerns. Mongolia has various migratory ungulates (namely the Mongolian gazelle, goitered gazelle, saiga antelope, and the khulan) that are being affected by existing railway and highway infrastructure. This documentary introduces both solutions (taken from ...

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Wildlife Movements at a Crossroads in Mongolia

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 Wildlife Movements at a Crossroads in Mongolia
(August 04, 2014) Mongolia’s wildlife consists of nomadic species, which require vast expanses of land to thrive and survive. The varied and unpredictable distribution of food and water each year makes it necessary for certain animals to be highly mobile. However, mobility requires free open space, and is not possible if enough barriers exist along important corridors for movement.The movement of four nomadic ungulates is most vulnerable to infrastructure development such as railway and highway projects, al...

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