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


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Erforschung biologischer Ressourcen der Mongolei (2012) 12: 169-182.


Copyright 2012, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle Wittenberg, Halle (Saale). Used by permission.


With the involvement of the World Bank, Zoological Society of London, Dutch Government and National University of Mongolia, the volumes of Mongolian Red Lists of Fish, Amphibians and Reptiles, Birds and Mammals were completed, and Mongolia is now among the few nations that have up-to-date conservation assessments for all vertebrates. Of the 476 assessed native bird species of Mongolia, 10% were categorized as regionally threatened including Near Threatened. A further 0.6% were categorized as Critically Endangered (CR), 1.7% as Endangered (EN), 3.3% as Vulnerable (VU), and 4.4% as Near Threatened (NT). Almost 90% of Mongolian birds are categorized as Least Concern (LC) (excluding DD and NA). Just 30 species were categorized as Data Deficient (DD). A further 87 species were categorized as Not Applicable, as they did not meet the requirements for regional assessment. This result highlights the need for research on raptors in Mongolia.

Of all passerines found in Mongolia, 82.1% are categorized as Least Concern. This shows that most of the passerines have not reached threat categories. The Tree Pipit, Reed Parrotbill, Saxaul Sparrow, White-throated Bushchat, Japanese Reed Bunting and Yellow-breasted Bunting, however, all fall within threat categories. A total of 36 species of bird are regionally threatened or Near Threatened in Mongolia. Of these, 2 species are categorized as Critically Endangered, 6 species as Endangered and 12 species as Vulnerable. Sixteen species are categorized as Near Threatened. High species richness of birds in Mongolia was recorded in the regions with forest steppe and river valleys. The species richness map shows a decreasing trend in the richness from north to south. High species richness for Mongolian birds was documented in the subdivisions of Mongol Daguur, Eastern Mongolian Plain (particularly Buir lake and the northeast), Ih Kyangan and Khangai mountain ranges, Great Lakes Depression and Huvsgul mountain range (Darkhad Depression). High species richness of birds also occurred in the protected areas of Numrug, Altan Els and Mongol Daguur Strictly Protected Areas, Onon-Balj, Khustai, Hugnukhaan, Otgontenger, Uvs, Khar-Us lake and Tsambagarav National Parks, and Toson Khulstai, Khar Yamaat, Ugtam, Bulgan, and Ikh Nart Nature Reserves. Data Deficient species’ richness was high in the regions of Khalkh river-Buir lake and Great Khyangan Mountain, Huvsgul Mountain Range, Great Lakes Depression including Uvs lake Depression, Baruunkhurai or Dzungaryn Gobi and basins of Ulz, Herlen, Orkhon and Selenge rivers. High species richness areas have contained high number of Data Deficient species. The areas with high species richness and a high number of Data Deficient species within Mongolia need field surveys conducting on population size and density, breeding ecology, and population threats.

Using the IUCN Red List categories of dominant threats, we have compared the threats and potential threats to all species of birds in Mongolia. 38.1% of species are threatened by habitat loss and degradation, 13.6% by human disturbance, 11% by pollution and 10.7% by changes in native species. All species of crane and pheasant are under significant threat of regional extinction. Bird conservation strategies and plans should focus on these threats. It is now imperative that the Red Lists for each vertebrate group, including the bird, be updated every five years so that trends in extinction risk can be measured through time.