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      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   The Hustai Nuruu Biosphere Reserve is situated about 100 km south-west of Ulaanbaatar. It comprises mainly steppe ecosystems but also some taiga forests and alpine vegetation. Hustai Nuruu aims to preserve the threatened steppe and forest steppe ecosystems, which, elsewhere, have been destroyed by over-exploitation. The site is further noted for its successful reintroduction of the endemic Przewalski horse (Equus przewalskii). This horse, which became extinct in the wild in the 1960s, now helps to restore the steppe ecosystem. As a flagship species it also increases environmental awareness in whole Mongolia.
More than 10,800 people live in the biosphere reserve, mainly following their traditional nomadic life and keeping 175,000 animals (sheep, goat, horse and cattle) in total (2002). In summer, most families live by the Tuul River and other places with good water supply. After snowfall, they move to the mountainous areas where rocks provide better shelter. In former times, animal husbandry had almost no negative impact on nature since stock numbers were low. Today, many families from Ulanbaatar settle in the transition area of the biosphere reserve, so the number of livestock increases rapidly and overgrazing of pasture land is said to be the main problem which the area faces today. Studies on the carrying capacity of the ecosystem, improved commercialization of livestock products and stakeholder empowerment aim to improve the situation. With the increasing trend of tourism in Hustai Nuruu (2,000 people in 2002) additional sources of income have been created. An information center and Nature museum provide exhibitions, seminars, and field trips for both tourists and locals.
  Major ecosystem type   Temperate grasslands, Mixed mountain and highland systems
  Major habitats & land cover types   Steppe/mountain steppe characterized by Stipa krylovii, Cleistogenes squarrosa, Poa attenuata, Cymbaria dahurica; mountainous steppe with Festuca lenensis, Chamaerhodos altaica, Orostachys spinosa etc.; forest characterized by Betula platyphylla and Populus tremula; floodplain/riverine forest including Salix ledebouriana, Agrostis mongolica and Poa subfastigiata; grazing areas; agricultural areas
  Location   4707'50'' to 4709'10''N, 10520'06'' to 10643'38''E (transition area)
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   778,000
  Core area(s)   50,000
  Buffer zone(s)   350,000
  Transition area(s) when given   378,000
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +1,100 to +1,842
  Year designated   2002
  Administrative authorities   HNP/MACNE reporting to the Ministry for Nature and the Environment, Mongolia (Mongolian Association for Conservation of Nature and Environment)

Last updated: 10/12/2007

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