Conservation of the Saiga Antelope in the Great Lakes Basin of Western Mongolia (Phase II)

Project person name
Chimeddorj Buyanaa
Start date
01 April 2011
End date
31 March 2014
Project Organisation
WWF-Mongolia Programme Office
Project Funder
MAVA Foundation
Ministry of Nature, Environment and Tourism of Mongolia

The southern part of the Mongolian Altai-Sayan Ecoregion is the last refuge of the Mongolian Saiga (Saiga borealis mongolica), an endemic subspecies of the Saiga antelope (Saiga borealis). It is registered by IUCN as “very rare”, and listed as such in the Mongolian Red Data Book.

Project objectives

The following objectives have been set to achieve the goal: • Objective 1: by end-2013, pressures on Saiga populations and habitats have been significantly reduced through Saiga-friendly pasture management. • Objective 2: by end-2013, the effectiveness of Saiga conservation has been upgraded through adaptive management based on science and community-based law enforcement activities. • Objective 3: by end-2013, support for Saiga conservation has increased at local and regional levels through a well focused education and awareness programme.

Project activities

• maintaining a well managed and protected Saiga population in the Great Lakes Basin. • protecting the Saiga and other wildlife such as Argali, Ibex, Snow leopard, Goitered gazelle, Mongolian gazelle, and Siberian marmot from poaching. • strengthening and extending the protected area network for Saiga and species associated with it, e.g. by establishing livestock free areas in the Saiga’s range. • mobilizing local support for Saiga conservation amongst decision makers, herder groups, and youth clubs.

Project outcomes

1. Saiga-friendly pasture management planning has started in whole range of the saiga; the first colsultation meeting organised in July to establish working group for pasture management palnning process at Aimag level. 2. The Mobile Anti-Poaching Unit (MAPU) and Saiga Ranger Network now operate throughout the Saiga range, ensuring law-enforcement in cooperation with relevant local agencies and herders. 3. The education and public awareness programme has evaluated and continue with special comcern on pasture management, environmental legal status and education for sustainable development.

Project targets

The long-term goal of this project is to maintain and restore the Mongolian Saiga in the Great Lakes Basin and to extend its range into its former habitats. Phase II aims to increase Saiga populations in Shargiin and Khuisiin Gobi by 30% compared to 2010 (aerial survey – 8,000 individuals) by the end of 2013. This goal will be achieved by cementing the successes achieved to date in reversing the downward spiral of Mongolian Saiga populations, through continuing support from herder groups in improving and expanding critical Saiga habitats.