Mongolia Red Lists

In order to make informed decisions on how to best protect threatened species and the required action needed-it is vital to provide an inventory of conservation status of key species. Mongolia has made a big step towards this and is the first country in Asia to have produced regional Red Lists of all their vertebrate species.

 ZSL, Steppe Forward and the National University of Mongolia have developed Red Lists and Summary Conservation Action Plans for Mongolian fishes, reptiles and amphibians, and more recently completing the Red List of Mongolian Birds and also for Medicinal Plants.

Following this work, the conservation status of all Mongolian vertebrates has been assessed and conservation measures needed for all threatened species has been delineated.

In the frame work of the Mongolian Biodiversity Databank, initiated by the Zoological Society of London, managed by Steppe Forward, supported by the Dutch Government and the World Bank, in collaboration with the Mongolian Ornithological Society, National University of Mongolia, Mongolian Academy of Science and the Ministry of Nature, Environment  and Tourism, and other national and International organisations, the Mongolian Red List of Birds and Summary Action Plans for Mongolian Birds was published in English in December 2011.

A total of 476 species occurring in Mongolia were assessed by national and international experts during the Regional Red List Workshop in Mongolia in 2009. All assessed species’ information and data were included in the Mongolian Red List of Birds. A total of 36 species of bird are regionally threatened (Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable) or Near Threatened and included in the Summary Conservation Action Plans.

It is a pioneering publication of all Mongolian bird species covering aspects of taxonomy, regional and global status, habitat and ecology, migration, population, threats and current conservation measures within the country and at a global level. In addition, the Summary Action Plans for Mongolian Threatened Birds was published. The book consists of 145 pages with descriptions for field identification, regional and global distribution, taxonomy, regional and global status, habitat and ecology, migration, population, threats, current conservation measures in place and conservation measures to be implemented in the near future in Mongolia.

Having completed the assessment of all vertebrate species in Mongolia, Steppe Forward embarked on the assessment of Mongolian plants in partnership with the Department of Botany at the National University of Mongolia and Kew Gardens in London. The first Regional Red List of Plants assessed 148 medicinal plants during a workshop that took place in Hustai National Park in October 2011. A total of 110 species of plants were found to be regionally threatened (Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable) in Mongolia. Of these, 16 species were categorised as Critically Endangered, 39 species as Endangered and 55 species as Vulnerable. Overall, 59.3% of the assessed species were found to be threatened by habitat loss and degradation, 47.3% by natural disasters, 45.3% by intrinsic factors and 38.6% by harvesting.

Following all of this work, the conservation status of all Mongolian vertebrates has been assessed and conservation measures needed for all threatened species has been delineated, which is vital for the contribution towards conservation of Mongolia’s natural capital.

By Lucy Boddam-Whetham

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