Institut für Biologie der Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg


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Erforschung biologischer Ressourcen der Mongolei (2016) band 13: 461-472.


Copyright 2016, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle Wittenberg, Halle (Saale). Used by permission.


During June 2008, and August and December 2010, we investigated both the status of wildlife and local human communities in the great Gobi trans-boundary area between China and Mongolia. We surveyed Baytik Mountain (called Baitag Bogdt on the Mongolian side of the border)( 44°59′ - 45°21′N,90°30′ - 90°53′E), which is located in the West of Great Gobi B strict protected area (GGB) and connected with Dzungarian Gobi. The Kazakh shepherds still maintain their nomadic life here in Baytik Mountains. The region was divided into summer, winter and transitional pasture, and most of the livestock were goats and sheep. We also surveyed Haftik Mountain, which is connected to GGB. The region is used as winter pasture by Kazakh shepherds, which belong to Mori and Qitai counties. They drive their livestock over several months to reach the region and spend here the winter time, and leaving the region to go back to south in spring year by year. By interview with local shepherds, we got information that the population number of khulan and Goitered gazelle decreased sharply since the building of the enclosure in Baytik Mountain region. Ibex is numerous and we counted totally 64 ibexes (14 herds) in one afternoon in one valley on the mountain ridge, which is less than 20 km long. In Haftik Mountain range, we counted 50 Goitered gazelle (12 herds), 45 ibexes (12 herds), 15 argali sheep (2 herds) and over 54 khulans (6 herds) in one week by car. Totally we investigated 15 Kazakh families in Baytik Mountain area. The local people in Baytik Mountain Pasture belong to Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC). Since 2003, the government has built a lot of enclosures in this area to protect and improve the grassland ecosystem. These enclosures work as a constant trap for ungulates and are a source of mortality for a lot of them. Since 1995, fences have been built along the Chinese-Mongolian border. The khulans inside the border zone are obviously a migrating population, and they cross the border through the foothills of the mountain ridge, where fences were not built over rugged terrain. Apparently these corridors are used for migrations. It is obvious that the border fences stopped the regularly migration of khulans. Usually, the schools, clinics, markets and the veterinary services were concentrated in some big settlements in Baytik Mountain Pasture. Basically, all children of the local Kazakh people get bilingual (Chinese and Kazakh language) education at school. The local shepherds have to face the following difficulties: (1) Sustained growth of population in the face of limited pasture; (2) people were encouraged by the government to begin a sedentary living, but they haven’t any necessary basic knowledge of farming and cultivation of agricultural land; (3) infrastructure for the education of the children is absent and there are not enough teachers in shepherds settlement; (4) people’s income is based only on lambs-sale and cannot afford the daily life expenses. This exclusive income source also makes their ability to fight against calamities very weak.