“Learning Wild” goes Mongolia

“The group experienced a great trip to the Gobi B, where Emily Kieson (Equine International) and Bonny Mealand (Touching Wild), as well as Reinhard Schnidrig, Dalaitseren Sukhbaatar and Dagvasuren of ITG and Gobi B SPA made the course a once in a lifetime experience. This is what Emily Kieson said:
“Taking a Learning Wild group to the Gobi B was truly an experience that exceed all my expectations. The staff and guides at the Gobi B SPA station were exceptional hosts and we instantly felt welcomed into a landscape and culture that was vastly different than what most of us had ever experienced. I was overwhelmed with how much the staff was willing to do to accommodate our desires to explore the area and learn about the wildlife. The station itself is the perfect place as a base camp for educational opportunities. Whether members of our group woke up before dawn to observe wildlife at one of the oases or if they decided to stay at camp and enjoy the scenery from the comfort of their yurts, there were endless opportunities to enjoy and appreciate the wonder of the Gobi B.”

Naadam celebration in the Gobi

Last weekend, the Great Gobi B SPA held a local Naadam celebration.

Many visitors from the region came to Bij Bag (Bugat Soum, Govi-Altai) to celebrate their national festival together. During the festival, participants compete in wrestling, archery and horse riding.

The patron of the event was ITG President Reinhard Schnidrig.

Bird monitoring in the Dzungarian Gobi

The Institute of Biology at the National Academy of Sciences in Ulaanbaatar, the International Takhi Group, and the Great Gobi B Strictly Protected Area are working together to study the bird diversity of the Dzungarian Gobi. The purpose of the study is to determine the composition of bird species in the region, where little bird research has been done yet, and to assess the distribution and population of rare birds to enable the optimal management of bird protection in the Great Gobi B. During the first field study, we recorded more than 120 species and found quite a few birds that are widely distributed in Central Asia but rare in Mongolia like Mistle thrush (Turdus viscivorus) and European bee-eater (Merops apiaster). In addition, many endangered birds were recorded like Altai snowcock (Tetraogallus altaicus) and Bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus).

Protection of water points in the Great Gobi B

The administration of the Great Gobi B and the Uench-Bodonch-Bulgan river basin, in collaboration with local communities, implemented fencing and protection measures to safeguard the springs, which provide drinking water for wild animals and livestock. Funding was provided by the Swiss Development Agency and the International Takhi Group.

The sources of the springs were fenced, i.e. in a slanted and vertical design, with three supporting poles, stone loads were placed at the bottom of the poles, and wall nets were attached to the poles. We are starting the process of determining the current status of these protected springs, registering them, and handing them over to the local communities.

Ecology training in local schools

Beginning of May, GGB SPA rangers, biologist Ganbaatar and veterinarian Angela Bescek provided training to a total of 226 students of the 8th-10th grades of the Altai, Uench, and Bulgan Sums (Hovd Province) on the following topics: “What is a Strictly Protected Area? What is the job of a ranger? What are biologists doing?” This spring, a field trip will be organized for the students of the 10th grade of Uench Sum to learn more about the Strictly Protected Area.

This spring, a field trip will be organized for the students of the 10th grade of Uench Sum to learn more about the Strictly Protected Area. The focus will be on where the borders of the GGB SPA are, what rangers do every day, and what kind of wildlife species live there.

This training is planned to be held this fall for the students of Tonkhil and Bugat soums of Gobi-Altai province.

Vet Med Workshop in the Gobi

One of the many tasks of the rangers in the Great Gobi B Strictly Protected Area is wildlife monitoring. This also includes the recording of dead wildlife. Last week a training of the staff took place to sensitize them to wildlife diseases and mortalities, and in the worst case scenario to animal epidemics. Within the framework of the workshop, topics such as zoonotic diseases, postmortem examinations, and the collection of (tissue) samples were discussed. However, the focus was on the documentation and registration of dead wildlife, for which a short field trip also took place. This training was intended to better understand the cause of deaths in wildlife, to promptly detect circulating diseases, and control its spread with prophylactic measures.

New Takhi Post online

One steppe, one health

“The well-being of humans, animals, plants, fungi and ecosystems — the entire biodiversity — is closely interlinked.”

Read more about the “One Health” approach in the newest Takhi Post.

Veterinarian support

Angela Becsek, a Swiss veterinarian specialized in equine medicine, arrived in Takhiin Tal. In the next couple of weeks, she will be assisting Dalai, the takhi researcher, in the examination of dead wildlife, especially the takhi that died in the harsh dzuud winter. These “postmortem” examinations are essential for understanding why individual animals die and, overall, are an essential cornerstone of wildlife monitoring. It thus serves, for example, the early detection of diseases and allows timely intervention and prophylactic measures to be taken before animal diseases spread.

Learning Wild Course

We are very excited to invite you to join the first ever Learning Wild trip to Mongolia to observe and learn about these iconic equids. This once-in-a lifetime experience promises to be not only a rare and immersive journey through a wonderful country but also an opportunity to directly study and learn from and about the world’s last truly wild horse.

The course is hosted by the equine experts Dr. Emily Kieson (Equine International) and Bonny Mealand (Touching Wild). Your guides will be Dr. Reinhard Schnidrig, president of the ITG, takhi researcher Dalaitseren Sukhbaatar (ITG), and ranger Dagvasuren (Great Gobi B).

With this trip, you support the Great Gobi B Strictly Protected Area and its local population.

Tsagaan Sar

This week the Mongolian New Year is celebrated. We welcome the Year of the Rabbit. Tsagaan Sar – White Moon – is the most important holiday in Mongolia and marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring.