Mongolia has a range of unique habitats, from taiga forest in the north, through desert steppe in the centre, to the famous Gobi desert in the south, each of which contain a high number of fascinating, highly threatened species.
In the aftermath of the collapse of the communist rule in the early 90's, Mongolia’s economy has changed drastically.This has resulted in an increase in urbanisation, illegal hunting , mineral extraction , and livestock numbers , all of which have had massive implications for Mongolian flora and fauna.
Although some 30% of Mongolian territory is afforded some level of protected area status, the effectiveness of these protected areas, and the effects of the threat processes are not fully understood with many species having experienced drastic declines. More about the region or about the Gobi desert
Summer Field Courses in Mongolia
The summer field course is a unique programme for international and Mongolian students, bringing modern research tools to local conservation issues.
World-class researchers will train the future conservationists in Mongolia.
Applications for the 2013 course are now open.
Red List of Birds
The Mongolian Red List of Birds and the Summary Conservation Action Plans for Mongolian Birds are in the process of being completed. Mongolia will then be the first country in Asia to have produced regional Red Lists of all their vertebrate species.
Following on from the International Workshop on Mongolian Bird Red List held in Mongolia in September 2009, all 487 species of bird are being assessed and distribution maps are being produced in order to provide a full report on the status of the birds of Mongolia.
More on the Regional Red List Programme
Wildlife Picture Index, Mongolia
The Wildlife Picture Index (WPI) aims to measure the success of protected areas in conserving species across Mongolia using innovative camera-trapping techniques. This will give an indication of biodiversity and population numbers in and next to protected areas.
After a very successful pilot study in 2009 and the expansion to three sites in 2010, WPI will cover even more habitats and protected areas in 2011 whilst still running previous sites to monitor trends.
MongolBioweb is Mongolia’s environmental newsletter and information sharing network; keeping biologists, conservationists and environmentalists in touch in Mongolia. If you would like to sign up to MongolBioweb, please send and email to
Biobeers is a monthly gathering of government and NGO staff, biologists, researchers, and other professionals interested in conservation. Each month, Biobeers sponsors two presentations on a topic relevant to Mongolian conservation, followed by an informal gathering to discuss activities and issues of interest. Biobeers is an opportunity to find out what is happening in the field of conservation in Mongolia, talk informally to other researchers and peers in your field, and share information about issues critical to the environment and people of Mongolia.
Biobeers is organised by the Zoological Society of London's Steppe Forward and sponsored by the Wildlife Conservation Society. At Biobeers the beer is on us!
To see the highlights of 2012, please read the Annual Steppe Forward Report. (6.9 MB)
Mongolia on the EDGE
The EDGE of Existence programme is a ZSL initiative to raise awareness and conserve the world’s most Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) species.
ZSL works with the National University of Mongolia on three EDGE species in Mongolia:
- Bactrian camel (Camelus ferus)
- Long-eared jerboa (Euchoreutes naso)
- Saiga antelope (Saiga tatarica)
Steppe Forward (SF) is aimed at empowering Mongolian people to create and manage conservation programmes by providing them with the tools and skills necessary to design and implement their own ecological studies, surveys and monitoring schemes.
The programme was originally a Darwin initiative (UK Defra) funded collaboration between the Zoological Society of London, and the National University of Mongolia, which began in 2003. The Steppe Forward Programme
The Steppe Forward has published the first field guides to the mammals and birds of Mongolia, in both Mongolian and English.
A field guide to the mammals of Mongolia is a comprehensive guide in both English and Mongolian with pictures and illustrations of each species and their signs.
A field guide to the birds of Mongolia is the first illustrated guide to all 487 bird species found in Mongolia including their distribution and status.
In addition, we have also produced two other publications:
A dictionary of vertebrate animals of Mongolia is the first dictionary of the kind and lists all Mongolian vertebrates in eight different languages.
Maral’s Adventures is aimed at primary and secondary school children and teaches about Mongolian habitats, fauna and flora along with interactive games and puzzles. In Mongolian and English.