“Great Gobi 6” will help save natural habitat

2016-09-23 12:42:54

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ The Great Gobi Six has been introduced, bringing about an alternative of environmental conservation at the Gobi desert and as a Mongolian version of Africa’s BIG 5 (African lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, African leopard, and rhinoceros).

Mongolian Gobi’s signature animals include wild camel, wild Asian ass, Mazaalai (The Gobi Bear), Takhi (Przewalski’s horse), blacktail gazelle and saiga antelope. Presentation of the Gobi Great 6 took place in the Takhiin Tal (Steppe of Takhi) in the Great Gobi B Strictly Protected Area, located in Bugat soum of Govi-Altai province.  

The event was co-organized by the WWF Programme Office in Mongolia, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and the provincial administration.

Each member of the Great Gobi 6 has its own role in the ecosystem. For instance, koulan (wild Asian ass) creates a pond of water called “koulan’s cut” in the arid land by striking the soil by its strong hooves. Koulan’s cut becomes drinking water source for many other animals in the Gobi. There are around 40 thousand koulans in the world.

Saiga antelope’s population has been dramatically decreasing over the past decades. The main reason of the mass hunt for this species is it horns, which widely used in the eastern medical practices. Grazing of saiga antelope helps soil scuffling and their droppings act as a quality fertilizer.

The Gobi Bear – Mazaalai, which is inhabited only in the Mongolian Gobi, has come the brink of extinction. The population has gone down to only 27, according to the latest observation made this year.

The Great Gobi 6 is an initiative for raising public awareness toward the environmental protection, rare species conservation, which will be mobilized through various channels, such as tourism and public training,