R.Samiya: There are less than 50 mazaalais in Mongolia

2019-05-15 16:05:55

Under the theme ‘Conservation of Mazaalai – Public participation’, a conference for the conservation of Mazaalai or Gobi Bear, the national pride of Mongolia, was organized at the lecture hall of the National University of Mongolia (NUM).

American and Norwegian scholars, who are leading bear research projects, Lecturer of the NUM Department of Biology Prof. R.Samiya, and representatives of NGOs engaged in the conservation of mazaalai gave presentations at the conference.

Head of the “Khongor Nutgiin Duudlaga Movement” NGO D.Batbold:

“The meeting is involving prestigious bear researchers including Head of the American Association for Gobi Bear Conservation Harry Raynolds, Norwegian brown bear specialist Jon Swenson, and President of the International Association for Bear Research and Management (IBA) Andreas Zedrosser. The IBA President is getting acquainted personally with the gobi bear’s habitat. We are endeavoring to have the 2021 IBA conference focus on mazaalai among the eight bear species that live in 36 countries around the world”

In Mongolia, mazaalai conservation activities and researches have been intensified since 1965 and some 36 mazaalais have been recorded in camera.

 Lecturer of the NUM Department of Biology Prof. R.Samiya

Mazaalai is rare not only in Mongolia, but in the world. Thus, everyone has a responsibility to be attentive towards the conservation of Mazaalai. Member of the International Association for Bear Research and Management, American scholar Harry Raynolds has been doing researches in Mongolia since 2006. Our knowledge about mazaalai was shallow until just recently. But, we started using cameras in 2013 and certain knowledge has been gained thanks to that. Last year in June and July, we installed 56 cameras in 13 points near water areas where Gobi bears come to drink and identified 36 different mazaalais. Thus, if we consider not all the bears have been recorded, there are around 50 mazaalais in Mongolia”

The participants of the conference also noted that the efficiency of the activities of associations and research clubs that conduct various kinds of studies in mazaalai conservation is not significantly growing due to the weak coordination among them.

Lecturer of the NUM Department of Biology Prof. R.Samiya

“Since 2007, American researchers have been observing migratory patterns, genetic features and genetic incompatibility of mazaalais with tracking collars. The studies will help determine to which bear species mazaalai is related and with which species it shall mate in case of genetic degradation. A variety of studies, including registration and tracking are being conducted. However, researchers are doing their work individually and we are failing to systematize the initiatives. One of the objectives of today’s conference is to address this issue. The desired result will be obtained with involvement of not only individuals and NGOs, but with combined efforts.

International scholars consider mazaalai, which is inscribed on the national and global Red Lists, unique among other bear species