Experience Mongolia differently on our Mongolian conservation and research expedition – in collaboration with the Mongolian Association Goviin Khulan NGO. We’re just one of many companies offering a range of Mongolia tours so why choose this one?
Supporting local is at the heart of what we do and at the centre of each experience we offer. We form long-term local community partnerships throughout the country and working in this way means we have personally come into contact with some remarkable people working at a grassroots level in conservation and wildlife protection. We have spent time experiencing their way of life as they show us the more hidden side to their home and the challenges they face. These people are the motivation behind our conservation trips.
Since 2008 the Association Goviin Khulan has worked in the eastern part of Mongolia’s Gobi Desert to enhance the protection of the Mongolian Khulan (Mongolia’s wild ass) and its habitat in partnership with local protected areas’ staff and communities. And we are proud to work in partnership with them.
We are very aware that a majority of our competitors are offering snow leopard expeditions to western Mongolia. However, Mongolia sits at the crossroads of the Central Asian steppes, the Siberian taiga (forest region), and the Gobi Desert and hosts a range of globally significant biodiversity within its boundaries. A major part of our philosophy is to not to contribute to creating a tourism circuit so as our competitors are all focusing on the one area, we thought we would spread our support elsewhere. Also, we have always looked to see where our support can have the most impact and the Mongolian Khulan (Equus hemionus hemionus) is one of the 5 recognized sub-species of the Asiatic Wild Ass and represents the largest population of this species in the world. As a result, Mongolia is an important place for the conservation of this species. The Mongolian Khulan is legally protected and listed as Rare in the Mongolian Red Book as Near Threatened in the ICUN Red List of Threatened Species – although until recently it was listed as Endangered.
Threats to the species include loss of habitat as a result of human settlement, and due to resource extraction such as mining. There is also the degradation of their natural grazing land and competition for water sources. There is also the fragmentation of the natural habitat and restriction of the Khulan’s movements due to the Trans-Mongolian railway, and due to roads and fences associated with mining development.
As part of our Mongolian Conservation and Research Expedition, you will travel with Anne Marie Souri – an ethnologist and founder and lead researcher of Association Goviin Khulan. A member of the SSC/IUCN Equid Specialist Group, Anne Camille has been studying the Khulan since 2004.
You will gain an understanding of the ecology of the little-visited Dorngobi (east Gobi) region.
Also, Goviin Khulan practice people-centred conservation and you will meet the local people and community who are now involved in the khulan project as Citizen Conservationists including local Buddhist monks, small market gardeners and nomadic herders – all who are partners in conservation. You will have the opportunity to discuss with them about their involvement in the Association Goviin Khulan conservation program and their actions and motivations towards the protection of the Gobi ecosystem.
Time will also be spent exploring the region specifically focusing on the observation of wildlife to collect data. You will be trained to use several kinds of technology such as trail cameras and all data collected during this conservation expedition will be used as part of the conservation program – continuing to protect the endangered Mongolian Khulan/Mongolian Wild Ass and its habitat.
You’ll start the trip in Ulaanbaatar on our free (informal and relaxed) city walking tour of Ulaanbaatar. This is not about museums or shopping but will introduce you to life in Mongolia’s capital city. Our walking tour provides a way of getting in touch with the atmosphere and character of the city and with the local community. Over 45% of Mongolia’s population make their home in Ulaanbaatar including some of the staff that work for Association Goviin Khulan and spending time within the city will give you a contrasting insight into their way of life, compared to that of the rural population.
Included in the 11-day trip is a side visit to Khustain Nuruu National Park with Anne Camille in her role as an equine scientist. Khustain is noted for its successful reintroduction of the endemic Przewalski horse– the only wild horse to survive in modern times and known as Takhi in Mongolian. This day will provide you with a better understanding of the biodiversity of Khustain – its people, landscapes and the distribution density and composition of wildlife in the area. The mountain forest-steppe of the region will also provide a contrast to the natural habitats you will experience in the Gobi – specifically the open desert steppe. In addition, Khustain is one of Mongolia’s conservation success stories and spending time here will allow you to understand how conservation can coincide with tourism successfully.
For more details, look at the full itinerary on our Mongolia small group tours page or get in touch. For more on the work of Association Goviin Khulan – https://www.eternal-landscapes.co.uk/world-wildlife-day-mongolia/
Jess @ Eternal Landscapes