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Snow Leopard and Saiga : endangered !

Mongol Messenger December 14, 2005. 

The World Fund for Wildlife (WWF) Mongolia has claimed that Mongolia’s snow leopard and the Mongolian saiga are country’s two most endangered mammals, with the Argali and Siberian Ibex also at risk. 

“There are many reasons, including climate change. But (that) is not the biggest problem, “ said Conservation Director N. Batnasan, pointing to illegal hunting, pasture and water competition , steppe and forest fire, harsh winter and drought. 
The threats affect many species and Batnasan that steps taken to increase snow leopard and saiga numbers would also help to other species . 

Lack of personel and money means that authorities cannot control poaching. Illegal trapping and trophy shooting of the snow leopard and Argali, he said, has increased.
He added that local and Chinese demand of animal parts for traditional medicines is high, with a big trade in snow leopard bones, bear paws and gall bladders, and saiga horns.
Uncontrolled hunting, often with automatic weapons, of Mongolian antelopes and goitered gazelle for meat and hides also occurs.
“There are many good laws, but enforcement is very weak,” said Batnasan.
He says that WWF has helped anti-poaching work a 1997 snow leopard conservation project, and the Snow Leopard Enterprises conversation partnership with locals.

WWF Mongolia said that it was important to punish poachers, but that legal loopholes allow them to escape in the process of investigation. 
Mongolia’s transition to a market economy and the growing population, claimed WWF, has increased pressure on natural resources. Livestock numbers increased form 25 million in 1990 to 30 million in 2000.
This led to overgrazing and increased pasture and water competition with wild fauna. The government is introducing a broad conservation and development program. 

The saiga in 1998 only 30 percent of their range in the 1930s. In 1998-2002, WWF and Science Academy biologists ran a project at Sharga-Manhan Nature Reserve for the last saigas.
In this, there were surveys at different seasons, a ranger network was set up, and locals was involved with small projects.
After some years, the saiga population and range had increased considerably. In 2003 the biologists estimated the saiga numbers at 5000 in the reserve, in Khuishiin Gobi, and in the adjacent Khar Us Lake National Park, the highest recorded since 1970s. 
This was the result of factors such as better weather and rangeland conditions, stricter poaching controls, and reduced grazing competition because of fewer livestock.

However, recently, numbers have decreased rapidly, and the last estimate was of fewer than 800 saigas, an 80 percent decline.
Biologists believe that this is mainly because of increased poaching and trade in saiga horns, and the zuds. 
That the saiga is the brink of extinction has drawn considerable international attention, and the IUCN lifted its status from vulnerable to endangered in spring 2004.
Illegal hunting for animal products has increased dramatically over the last decade, with hunters targeting musk
deer, elk, wild boar, squirrel and marmot.

Elk have declined drastically because of antlers, tail and body parts, which traders buy at low prices. Hunting also increasingly popular as a sport for those who can afford it. 
The habitat of red deer, musk deer, squirrel, roe deer and Mongolian gazelle has also declined because of steppe and forest fires, mainly due to human negligence.

It is estimated that there are now fewer than 800 Bactrian camels in the wild in China and Mongolia. A 1993 expedition to Mongolia’s last stronghold of wild camels found no more 400, a rapid decline since the last census. 
Other threatened desert animals are the Gobi bear and the houbara bustard, while the Mongolian sturgeon fish is believed to be so close to extinction that the species is unlikely to survive.


Ulaanbaatar, September 2 ,2002.  Over forty domestic and foreign non-governmental organizations (NGO) are running its activities in the nature protection sector of Mongolia. The Bureau of World Nature Protection Fund in Mongolia implemented a project on establishing and enlarging the network of NGOs. As a result of the project, the Environmental Non-Governmental Organizations Union was established in Mongolia in 2000. Currently, the union directs its activity to unite and coordinate the activities of environmental organizations and the improve financial capacity of the NGOs. 


Ulaanbaatar, August 20 ,2002. Forest covers eight percent of the Mongolian territory. "As of today, twenty percent of the total forest reserves have been burnt due to wild fires," said Ch. Togoo, Secretary of the State Standing Emergency Commission. Nationwide, there are a total of 53 fires currently burning, of which 13 fires are blazing the forest zone of Ulaanbaatar. The Mongolian Prime Minister declared that from August 16 all aimags and Ulaanbaatar city should be ready for civil defense to assist fighting the fires. Organizations that have up to 50 workers will be called for in the mobilization to fight the fire. If someone does not accept this official duty, they will be punished according to the Law of Administrative Responsibility. 


Ulaanbaatar, August 19 ,2002.  Mongolia has experienced severe winter and summer droughts for four successive years. In addition to these calamities, wild fires have become a common disaster for Mongolia. Summer weather condition this year been very hot and dry with no humidity. This increase the potential outbreak of wild fires. Human irresponsibility also influences the outbreak of fire. As of today, 29 forest and steppe fires have broken out in the Mongolian territory. Of which, 13 fires are blazing the forest zones of Ulaanbaatar. Fire smoke has covered the air of Ulaanbaatar, which is located between four large mountains. According to the Emergency Commission of Ulaanbaatar, about 1,000 people and 60 trucks are working to extinguish the fires. 75 fire fighters and 50 troops are working in the worse effected area of Sharga Morit, which is situated about 25 km from Ulaanbaatar. An official from the State Fire Fighting Department said that about 120 wild fires broke out in 12 Aimags, 56 soums and some districits of Ulaanbaatar between July 1 and August 16, 2002. This number is much larger in comparison to previous years. About 60 fires were completely put out and 26 were prevented from spreading. According to the most recent report, 12 fires are blaring in Hovsgol Aimag, Arkhangai-6, Zavkhan-4, Selenge -3, Bulgan -3 and Tov Aimag- 1. The total cost of damage by the fires is still not reported. 


Ulaanbaatar, July 26 ,2002. The regular 8th international conference on issues of establishment of non-nuclear restricted zone in North East Asia is taking place these days. The conference is organized under joint collaboration of Mongolian Strategy Institute and George Technological Institute, USA and International Strategy Centre. Participants to the event are prominent diplomats, researchers, and military representations from Russia, China, Japan, S Korea, Finland, and Mongolia. Director of Strategy Institute, L.Molomjamts, said that the talks to establish non-nuclear zone in North East Asia have been previously held for seven times. But they were all fruitless and sides could not come to mutual understanding. Nevertheless, the regular meetings of this kind prove that the parties attending the conference are fully interested in positive outcome of the issue, noted Mr. Molomjamts. Observers believe that the 8th conference is great contribution towards international recognition of Mongolia's non-nuclear status. George Technological Institute was the first to initiate the issue of Northeast Asian non-nuclear zone in 1992. 


Ulaanbaatar, June 04  Ministry of Nature and Environment has ordered 10 industries processing leather and cashmere shut down temporarily for their negligence in protecting the environment. The decision is reported to have been taken after more detailed analyses of the results of inspections carried out in Khan Uul, Bayangol and Songinokhairkhan districts of the capital city, home to more than 40 leather processing industries alongside the cashmere and wool factories. 



Ulaanbaatar, April 8 ,2002.  According to the Ministry of Environment, about 30 % of state nature inspector and nature guards was provided with self-defense instruments such as gas gun, binocular and other tools. In recent years, the number of offences against nature environment especially to the health of nature guards has increased. The Ministry of Environment is paying more attention to the nature conservation and supplying needy instruments to nature guards. Training sessions for nature guards were also organized. 



Since ancient times Mongolians have respected the wolf as a majestic animal that empowers a man's spirit but is an enemy of livestock. Therefore, many local people have the skills needed to hunt the wolf. But not all are proficient in their hunting skills and many lack experience in removing and processing the skin. Wolf Management, a project of Japanese International Corporation Agency (JICA) and the Mongolian Ministry of the Environment, is being implemented to carry out research on Mongolian grey wolf, to formulate rules for hunting and removing wildlife, to protect the wolf and to raise the value of the skins on the world market. As it's name indicates, the project's goal is also management, to train the local people to "manage" the environment through respect and appropriate treatment and protection of wildlife. 
Four soums of Tov aimag, three soums of Bulgan aimag and two soums of Khovd aimag have established a commission on the Wolf Management project.


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Sport in Mongolia




Ulaanbaatar, June 4, 2005 - The Mongolian Rugby Football Union (MRFU) was founded late in 2003, but did not really begin activities in the spring of 2004. Around the same time some ex-pats, based at Dave’s Place, the British pub on Sukhbaatar Square, formed their own club, “the UB Yaks”. When the two organizations found about each other, things began to happen, and some of the ex-pats agreed to help the MRFU with coaching, refereeing and general organization.

There were a number of problems, mainly finding some where to play, and because there were only a few players it was difficult to play real matches. In November 2004, the MRFU was invited to play in tournaments in Manila and Honk Kong in March 2005 and they accepted the invitation. Throughout winter, and in temperatures of – 30 the players trained three times a week, coached by ex-pats.

In March the boys traveled to Hong Kong and Manila, a three day journey by train. At the tournaments they surprised everyone, winning six of their eleven games. They attracted a lot of international media coverage, and the Mongolian team was seen on TV all over the world. This interest led to a number of touring teams asking to come to Mongolia, and the first team “The Rhinos” played the first ever game against Mongolia on June 4th 2005. Unfortunately the Mongolians lost but it was a hard and well contested game. See our photoes

As well as organizing the national team, the MRFU works to introduce rugby in to schools, providing balls and equipment as well as conducting training sessions. There are now around 25 seniors (over 18 years) playing on a regular basis and a number of them have caught the eye of observers. The MRFU is now trying to arrange for the future stars to attend special training and coaching sessions in Hong Kong .

It is expected more touring teams this summer, and Mongolia has been invited to play in Shanghai this coming September.


September 10. Forty-four athletes from eleven countries will compete in the World University Chess Championships, which will begin tomorrow in Ulaanbaatar. The competition will take place in Sport palace of Ulaanbaatar. Prime Minister N. Enkhbayar will attend an official opening ceremony for the competition, which will start at 11am on September 11.  


Ulaanbaatar, September 10. / Mongolian wrestlers have showed brilliant succes at the start of Japanese professional sumo wrestling tournament, which began last Sunday. Mongolian sumoist Kyoketenho Tsevegnyam won Yokozuna Takanohana in his second match of the tournament. Asashyoro Dagvadorj who received Ozeki title last month tournament, gained two victories in his first two matches. Kyokushuzan Batbayar has one victory and one loss.



Ulaanbaatar, August 28. /. Mongolian sumo wrestlers showed a brilliant success at the Asian Sumo Championships and the World Young Generation Sumo Championships, which was held in Osaka, Japan. Wrestlers Ts. Myagmarsuren /+115 kg/ and B. Ganbat /absolute/ won bronze and silver medals at the Asian Championships. Female wrestlers B. Sainjargal /-65 kg/ and E. Dolgormaa /+65 kg/ gained two gold medals at he Asian Championships. Young Mongolian wrestler T. Enkhtaivan won a bronze medal at the World Championships. 


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Tourism of Mongolia





Ulaanbaatar, /MONTSAME/. The General Customs Office of Mongolia will close several border checkpoints: Baitag, Uliastai and Dayan. The main reason of the action is that the points have temporary functions and few people cross them. The Office also reached an idea with Chinese side to change the status of border checkpoints in Gashuun Sukhait and Gants Mod into permanent international ones. Besides that, the Burgastai border checkpoint will function permanently until the start of operation of Taishir Hydro-Electric power station because a great amount of technologies and building materials for the power station are transported through this point. G.Sainbayar


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Culture in Mongolia


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News about Mongolian Nomads


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Economy of Mongolia


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Mongolian 's Science


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Mongolian Society



Mongol messenger - Jan 4, 2006

On January 1 the celebrations of the 800th anniversary of the Great Mongolian State began in Sukhbaatar Square, with President N. Enkhbayar, Prime Minister and national organizing committee chairman Ts. Elbegdorj and Speaker Ts. Nyamdorj, MPs and government members present. 
The president said that 800 years ago, the Ikh Khuraldai (Grand Assembly) of Mongols was held, conferring the title of Chinggis Khaan, great Khaan of all Mongols, on Temujin and establishing a united state. 
He said that the year would be celebrated with new buildings, a special parliamentary sitting, an international exhibition, festival of ethnic groups, a South-east Asian Children’s Festival and a Mongolists’ congress. 
He reminded the audience that the UN had passed Mongolia’s resolution for the world to join in the celebrations of the anniversary. 
He appealed to the public to make their own contribution to the anniversary, to maintain solidarity, to be proud of their history and culture, and to contribute to world civilization in their own Mongolian way.




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