Some people are drawn to Mongolia for its history, some for its rich cultural traditions. But for many, it is the country’s abundant biodiversity that makes Mongolia truly unique among world destinations. Home to a huge variety of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and plants, the country lays claim to some impressive facts about its flora and fauna.
Growing up to three meters in length the taimen, the largest freshwater fish makes its home in Mongolia’s pristine rivers and lakes. The country’s vast eastern grasslands are the habitat of one of the largest gazelle populations in the world, with herds stretching as far as the eye can see. Thirty-five rare and endangered mammals live throughout the country including the Gobi bear, snow leopard, ibex, etc. Birders from around the world are drawn to Mongolia to spot exotic species such as white-naped cranes, more than thirty species of raptor, and the world’s largest grouse. Hundreds of edible and medicinal plants flourish in Mongolia including wild blueberries, seebuckthorn, blackberries, etc. With facts like these, it is no surprise that Mongolia has become a dream destination for naturalists, anglers, hunters, and hikers alike.
So what makes Mongolia so rich in wildlife?
With the lowest human population density of any country on earth, and with one of the highest proportions of land area classified as protected, Mongolia is a haven where plants and animals can thrive. Locally-managed nature reserves such as Gun Galuut, just an hour outside of Ulaanbaatar, boast species diversity unrivaled by many of the world’s most legendary national parks. Here, majestic mammals like Argali sheep and gray wolf coexist with herding families who have committed to protecting these threatened species through conservation and sustainable management. Further north, in Hovsgol National Park, rangers and tour companies are joining forces to protect the rich aquatic diversity found in the park’s lakes and rivers through eco-tourism initiatives centered on responsible fishing.
From border to border, Mongolia is a nation that values wildlife and cherishes nature. Any visit to the countryside promises an opportunity to spot animals in their natural habitat, and enjoy the bounty of Mongolia’s flora and fauna.
There are 75 species of fish belonging to 36 genera and 11 families living in Mongolian rivers and lakes of with 10 species are of 5 families in the Enclosed Basin of Central Asia, 22 species of 11 families in the Arctic basin and 43 species of 11 families in the Pacific Ocean.
Currently 38 species of fish are observed in the River Kherlen which flows in Gun-Galuut Nature Reserve. It includes Taimen (Hucho Taimen), Lenok (Brachymystax lenok), Amur pike (Esox reicherti), Burbot (Lota lota), Amur dase (Leuciscus waleski) and Flathead asp (Pseudaspius parva) and many more.
The Nature Reserve is open for all 4 seasons with its rich fishery, amazing nature beauty and wilderness.
You have opportunities to fish for Taimen – The River King as the world class fishermen call it.
The most common reptile in Mongolia, Central Asian Viper /Agkistrodon Halys/ is found in the Nature Reserve. Also Pallas’ Coluber /Elafhe dione fallas/ is found here too. Mongolian racerunner /Eremias argus peters/ is the commonest reptile of the Nature Reserve.
Toads are the commonest in Gun-Galuut from the Amphibians. Siberian Sand Toad /Bufo raddei/ and Siberian wood frog /Rana Amurensisare/ found in wetlands and lakes and along the rivers. They are the main food for wetland birds.
The mammals living in Mongolia include: 14 species are animal feeding on insects, 12 species are with wings do you mean bats?, 4 species of rats, 3 species of hares, 65 species of rodents, 22 species of carnivorous animals and 14 species of hoofed animals. Altogether, 35 mammal species have been registered in Mongolian Red Data Book.
Many species of Mammals inhabit in the Gun-Galuut Nature Reserve. Threat level of Gun-Galuut species are: Critically: Siberian White Crane, Endangered: Wild Mountain Sheep and Swan Goose, Vulnerable: White-Naped Crane, Great Bustard, Relict Gull, Lesser Kestrel, nearly threatened: Cinereous Vulture and White-Tailed Eagle, Least Concern: Grey Wolf and Corsica Fox.
Argali mountain wild sheep /Ovis Ammon/. There are over 100 Argalis live in the Nature Reserve currently. The first Argali came to the area in 1980s, but now it is known exactly where they came from. Argali live in beautiful Mt. Baits and Berkh.
Also Grey Wolf /Canus Lupus/ live here, particularly at Mt Baits and Berkh. They spend the day laying in woody and bushy ravines of the mountains and hunting for domestic animals and sometimes the Argali herds at nights. Fox /Vulpes vulpes/, Steppe fox /Vulpes corsac/, Manul cat /feles manul/, Badger /meles meles/ and Lynx /Lynx lynx/ are also seen here during daytime. Mongolian Marmot /Marmote Sibirica/ occured here for a few years ago, though, connecting to illegal hunting now this animal is facing extinction. The area is rich in small rodents such as Brown Hare /Lepus tolai/, mice etc., White gazelles /Procapra gutturosa/ often come from the east to this area.