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      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   Situated in the eastern corner of Mongolia, this biosphere reserve covers a representative portion of one of the largest intact grassland ecosystems in the world. It is situated on the Mongolian Plateau with an average altitude of about 800 meters above sea level. The main characteristic is rolling steppe, extending for over 200 kilometres along the Chinese border. The landscape is characterized by gently rolling hills with scattered mountains and sand dunes unique to the region. The area is rich in biodiversity, encompassing biological features from the Siberian taiga, Manchurian flora and fauna, and dominated by Central Asian steppes. Some of the largest remaining herds of Mongolian gazelle can be found in the region. These herds make up the largest remaining ungulate population in Asia. Dornod Mongol is home for several globally rare or threatened bird species, and also hosts typical Central Asia fauna and flora in relatively natural settings compared with other Asian steppe ecosystems.

The Biosphere Reserve is sparsely populated with some 11,800 people, and the pastoral population depends largely on the environment. Due to the remote location of Dornod Mongol, the pastoral lifestyle and culture in the region have remained relatively intact, and offer possibilities to preserve this culture that has evolved hand in hand with nature over many thousands of years.

The region is being targeted as the next frontier of economic development in Mongolia. This includes oil exploration and extraction as well as mining. These activities could create conflicts between local herders and community interests, and this could also have potentially negative effects on biodiversity. As these developments are in their early stages, Dornod Mongol, as a Biosphere Reserve, has the potential to serve as a model system in reconciling opposite interests in remote and sparsely populated areas characteristic for Mongolia. In most places in the country, large-scale tourism is not a realistic mean to foster local economy and human development and hence there is a need to develop a variety of small-scale business opportunities. The management plan for Dornod Mongol is currently being updated. The revised management plan will cover the period from 2006 to 2009 and is to be approved by the Ministry of Nature and Environment.
  Major ecosystem type   Temperate grasslands
  Major habitats & land cover types   Temperate steppe characterized by Stipa Krylovii, S. grandis, Cymbaria dahurica, Cleistogenes squarrosa etc.; Rocky hill tops including species such as Filifolium sibiricum, Helictrotrichon schellianum, Stipa biacalensis; Sand dunes with Phragmites communis, Elymus chinensis, Glyzyrrhiza uralensis etc.; Marsh
  Location   46°06' to 46°52’N; 116°11’ to 118°27’E
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   8,429,072
  Core area(s)   57,0374
  Buffer zone(s)   1,072,220.8
  Transition area(s) when given   6,786,477
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +709 to + 1112
  Year designated   2005
  Administrative authorities   Dornod Mongol Biosphere Reserve, Eastern Mongolia Protected Areas Administration reports to the Department of Special Protected Areas Management, Ministry of Nature and Environment.
  Brief description   According to the Mongolian Law on Special Protected area, the zonation includes three distinct zones: pristine, conservation and limited use zones. The main conservation objectives of the pristine and conservation zones are to preserve important spring, winter and autumn habitats of the Mongolian gazelle. Areas with potential for ecologically sustainable tourism, places of traditional religious importance and areas with frontier unit activities have been designated as limited-use zones where livestock, culling of wildlife, forest cleaning and maintenance, and collection of some plants and other natural resources for household purposes are allowed.

Environmental Observation Book, recording various meteorological and environmental variables; Conservation and migration study on the Mongolian gazelle (estimates of population size, identification of key calving and rutting grounds); Inventory and monitoring system to gather long-term information on the distribution and abundance of wildlife and record changes in the ecosystem health; Climate change in the Eastern steppe; Environmental pollution in areas exploiting deposits in the buffer zone; Rangeland condition; Conservation and migration of white gazelle; Population dynamics of the Brand’s Vole, its impact on ecosystems; Fire impact on soil and vegetation.
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Climate, contaminants, global change, habitat, meteorology, monitoring/methodologies, pollution, pollutants, soil.
  Biodiversity   Breeding/Reproduction, conservation, ecosystem assessment, ecosystem functioning/ecosystem structure, fires/fire ecology, mammals, migrating populations/migration, monitoring/methodologies, population genetics/population dynamics, species inventorying/inventory, temperate grassland, vegetation studies/plant cover, wildlife.
  Socio-economic   n.a.
  Integrated monitoring   Environmental change, impact and risk studies/environmental impact.
  Contact address   J. Unenbat
Ministry for Nature and Environment
Box: Kherlen Soum-401.89, Dornod Mongol
 Choibalsan Town, Dornod province
  Telephone   (976) 99588876
  Fax   (976) 0158223373

Last updated: 12/10/2007

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