The Annotated Ramsar List: Mongolia


The Annotated Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance


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The Convention on Wetlands came into force for Mongolia on 8 April 1998. Mongolia presently has 11 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance, with a surface area of 1,439,530 hectares.

site; date of designation; region, province, state; surface area; coordinates
site; date de désignation; région, province, état; superficie; coordonnées
sitios; fecha de designación; región, provincia, estado; área; coordenadas

Ayrag Nuur. 13/04/99; Hovd Province; 45,000 ha; 48º53’N 093º25’E. Proposed National Park. A shallow, freshwater lake in the Mongolian Great Lakes Basin. An exceptionally important breeding and resting site for a variety of waterbirds and the only remaining place in Mongolia where the Dalmatian Pelican regularly comes to breed. The lake is of fundamental importance for the groundwater recharge of the area. Other noteworthy waterbird species include the globally threatened Swan Goose and Relict Gull. Land use around the wetland is limited to semi-nomadic animal husbandry. Ramsar site no. 977. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Har Us Nuur National Park.13/04/99; Hovd Province; 321,360 ha; 47º58’N 092º50’E. National Park. Three large but shallow lakes - Har Us Nuur, Har Nuur and Dorgon Nuur. Vast reedbeds and extensive aquatic plant communities provide a suitable habitat for a large number of breeding and migratory waterbirds, including the globally threatened Swan Goose, Ferruginous Duck, White-headed Duck and Relict Gull. Three species of fish endemic to Western Mongolia occur in these lakes. The lakes are of fundamental importance for the groundwater recharge of the area, and are of social and cultural significance because of the presence of a number of sacred places and archeological sites. Current land use around the lakes is semi-nomadic animal husbandry. Ramsar site no. 976. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Lake Achit and its surrounding wetlands.22/03/04; Bayan-Ulgii, Uvs Provinces; 73,730 ha; 49º40'N 090º35'E. Freshwater shallow lakes in the Khovd River basin in western Mongolia, with the Achit Lake being the largest in the Mongolian Altai range. The site, lying in an intermountain basin at 1435m, includes Devel State Nature Reserve to the south (1,030ha). Lakes are frozen from November to May. Important breeding and resting ground for a great variety of waterbirds, many listed in the Mongolian and IUCN Red Books, Red Data Book of Threatened Birds of Asia, CITES and CMS. The site supports more than 1% of the biogeographical population of Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus), Black Stork (Ciconia Nigra) and Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea), thus fulfilling Criterion 5. Several endemic fishes occur in the lakes. No human settlements lie in the vicinity; the surrounding land is normally used for nomadic stock farming or recreational purposes. The high potential for ecotourism has not been developed so far due to weak infrastructure and the remote location of the area. Ramsar site no. 1376. Most recent RIS information: 2004.

Lake Buir and its surrounding wetlands.22/03/04; Dornod Province; 104,000 ha; 47°48'N 117°40'E. The largest freshwater lake in eastern Mongolia, part of the basin of the large Amur river, together with many associated small lakes - northeastern parts of the system outside the Ramsar Site boundary lie across the border with China. This transitional habitat between Daguur and Stipa steppes features flora and fauna characteristic of arid steppe; it regulates the Khalk gol River and the Buir lake's water regime and protects the origins of many small rivers, lakes, streams, and springs. The site is a main grazing land for the Mongolian gazelle (Procapra gutturosa), a stop-over and permanent ground for more than 236 bird species. Many fauna and flora species listed by IUCN, CITES, and CMS are present, making it very important for biogeographical biodiversity. No human settlements are found within the wetland apart from a small fishing village on the eastern coast to support the long established fishing industry on the lake. Extensive grazing has resulted in land degradation, but there is no other agricultural activity. Global warming has affected the water level, with consequent fish stock depletion. Ramsar site no. 1377. Most recent RIS information: 2004.

Lake Ganga and its surrounding wetlands.22/03/04; Sukhbaatar Province; 3,280 ha; 45º15'N 114º00'E. Natural Monument Area. A small brackish lake (220ha) and associated lakes in eastern Mongolia within a unique landscape combining wetlands, steppe and sand dunes, located in the strip between the south steppe and Gobi zones. This lake district is based in the wind-scoured lowlands of extinct volcanoes and known as Dariganga. It is of great importance for breeding and stop-over waterbirds, e.g., White-naped Crane (Grus vipio), Swan Goose (Anser cygnoides), and Great Bustard (Otis tarda), all vulnerable or endangered in the the IUCN Red Book. Local people involved in nomadic and animal husbandry. A management plan for the Ganga Lake Monument Area is being elaborated with the objective of developing ecotourism in view of the great cultural (stone monuments) and natural ('swan assembly' in autumn) potential of the area. Ramsar site no. 1378. Most recent RIS information: 2004.

Lake Uvs and its surrounding wetlands.22/03/04; Uvs Province; 585,000 ha; 50°20'N E 092°45'E. UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The largest saline lake in Mongolia with a small part lying in Russia, a unique wetland in desert-steppe landscape fringed by high mountain ranges; it has a maximum depth of 20m and freezes over from November to May. With reedbeds and river deltas it provides significant nesting and resting areas for 215 migratory waterbird species such as White-headed Duck (Oxyura leucocephala), Swan Goose (Anser cygnoides), both 'endangered' in the Red List of IUCN, and many other nationally and globally threatened flora and fauna species including endemic fish Oreoleuciscus potanini, Oreoleuciscus pewzowi, Oreoleuciscus humilis, are supported. Some nomadic families live along the shorelines using wetlands as pasture and watering points. A joint transboundary protected area is planned in cooperation with Russian authorities. The potential exists for recreation and birdwatching and a management plan is in preparation. Ramsar site no. 1379. Most recent RIS information: 2004.

Lakes in the Khurkh-Khuiten river valley. 22/03/04; Khentii Province; 42,940 ha; 48°18'N 110°34'E. Permanent lakes located in the transition zone between Mongolian forest and steppe zones in the basin of the Khurkh-Khuiten river, a tributary to the great Onon River. The site is the habitat of many threatened and endangered species from the southern taiga, Central Asian steppe, and forest steppe of Daguur-Manjuria. In terms of Criterion 6, it supports 11% of the biogeographical population of White-naped Crane (Grus vipio), 3% Eurasian Crane (Grus Grus), 1% Demoiselle Crane (Anthropoides virgo), 15% Black Stork (Ciconia nigra). The main land use is for animal husbandry. Global warming has had implications for the reduction of the lakes' size. There is a potential for ecotourism, but currently no conservation measures have been taken. Ramsar site no. 1380. Most recent RIS information: 2004.

Mongol Daguur (Mongolian Dauria).08/12/97. Dornod Province; 210,000 ha; 49º42’N 115º06’E. International Protected Area; Strictly Protected Area; Nature Reserve; Crane Network Site. Set in a basin formed by tectonic and volcanic activity, the site includes vast steppes, marshy wetlands, rivers and lakes. Supports a high species diversity with many endemic or rare plants. 260 bird species use the site for staging, breeding or wintering, including six species of cranes of which two are threatened. Semi-nomadic, animal husbandry is the principal livelihood of the local population. Crop production is also practiced. Ramsar site no. 924. Most recent RIS information: 1997.

Ogii Nuur.06/07/98; 2,510 ha; 47º46’N 102º46’E. Anatidae Network Site. A freshwater lake located in the valley of the Orkhon River, comprising extensive alluvial areas of grassland, river channels, pools and marshes surrounded by grassy steppe. The maximum depth of the lake is 16 meters, but about 40% of the lake is less than 3m deep. The lake supports an intensive fishery and livestock grazing. It is a very important breeding and staging area for a wide variety of waterfowl, particularly Anatidae (ducks, geese, swans, etc.). Ramsar site no. 955. Most recent RIS information: 1998.

Terhiyn Tsagaan Nuur.06/07/98; Arkhangai Province; 6,110 ha; 48º10’N 099º43’E. Natural Park; Anatidae Network Site. A freshwater and nutrient-poor lake formed by volcanic activity, located in the Suman River valley in the Central Khangai Mountains. As with most wetlands in Mongolia, land use in and around the lake is restricted to fishing and livestock grazing. The extensive marshes in the west are an important breeding and staging area for migratory waterfowl. Ramsar site no. 953. Most recent RIS information: 1998.

Valley of Lakes (Boon Tsagaan Nuur, Taatsiin Tsagaan Nuur, Adgiin Tasgaan Nuur, Orog Nuur).06/07/98; Bayan-Khongor Province; 45,600 ha; 45º19’N 099º58’E. A chain of four saline lakes at the foot of the Gobi Altai, ranging from 1100m to 1235m in altitude. The lakes are shallow, with a saucer-shaped depth profile, and vary considerably in size both seasonally and from year to year. These lakes are known to be an important staging area for migratory waterfowl, and it has been suggested that they might be a breeding area for the rare Relict Gull. The lakes provide grazing land for domestic livestock in an otherwise arid region. Ramsar site no. 954. Most recent RIS information: 1998.

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Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
International Importance
2,186 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,674,247

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