Animals and Plants
Biodiversity in Mongolia
You can discover over 130 species of mammals, over 430 bird species, 75 fish species, thousands of different plants and unfortunately more than 100 endangered plants in Mongolia. 10 percent of the country is covered with forest. These are mostly coniferous forests with spruce, larch, fir or pine. Steppes and meadows shape a large part of the landscape. In spring, many plants bloom here, such as edelweiss and gentian or even geraniums, which mostly adorn our balconies. But delphiniums, rhododendrons and other plants can also be discovered in these regions. In the deserts, and especially in the Gobi Desert, there is little vegetation.
Marmots also like to be on the Mongolian menu. Millions populate the steppe. Their fur is used in the same way as marmot fat. This is considered a valuable remedy.
Which animals live in Mongolia?
Since there are still large untouched natural areas in Mongolia, many animals feel very comfortable. According to itypejob, wildlife such as bears and wolves live in the north. Although the wolves are not aggressive, the Mongols see them as a threat because they attack the herds they protect. There are said to be more wolves than humans in Mongolia. There are also reindeer and wild boar and smaller mammal species such as squirrels or stoats. Another type of antelope, the crop antelope, lives in the north of the country. There are also moose and red deer. In the steppes, marmots or whistling hares whistle. Hamsters and various types of mice also spread there.
Threatened with extinction
Critically endangered is the saiga antelope that is hunted. Especially the males have to die because of their horns and so there are fewer and fewer animals of this antelope species.
In the mountain regions of the Altai Mountains one can still find isolated snow leopards. But this species is also threatened. This type of leopard differs in its longer fur, which can become very thick, especially in winter. No wonder, it gets many degrees below zero there and snow leopards don’t want one thing: freezing. Their numbers have mainly decreased because their food, the Siberian ibex and the Mongolian wild sheep, was hunted by poachers and there was not enough prey left for the big cats. The snow leopard is camouflaged so well that humans very rarely see them.
Yaks also live in the mountains. Today’s yaks, however, are pure farm animals. In the past many wild yaks grazed in the mountains, but these have now become extinct because they were also hunted.
Adaptation is required!
Only specially adapted animals can survive in the Mongolian desert. The Przewalski horses, also called takhi, are famous. This is the only wild horse that has survived in its wild form to this day. This animal was already considered to be extinct, now it has been released back into the wild in order to be able to secure the population further.
The Gobi bear, which belongs to the group of brown bears, is very rare. However, since these bears live very secluded in the desert, humans hardly see them at all or at all. Also in the Gobi desert you can still find a wild ass, the khulan, which is also an endangered species. These donkeys band together in herds to protect themselves from wolves. They are very resourceful at tracking down water and can therefore survive in the desert. Some water holes are therefore also called khulan holes, named after these donkeys. Wild camels also live in the Gobi.
Mongolian giant fish
Since the Mongols traditionally do not eat fish, many fish cavort in Mongolian waters and do not have to worry about being caught by anglers. The Taimen is a very peculiar fish. It can be up to two meters tall and weigh more than 50 kilos. Its fins are huge, it has sharp teeth and looks a bit like a fish from prehistoric times.
When the Soviet Union, with which Mongolia had close ties, collapsed in 1990, the country’s economy also had to reorient itself. While everything was previously determined and controlled from Moscow, the Mongols now had to cope on their own. But it wasn’t that easy at all. The former socialist planned economy became a market economy.
Since the beginning of the new millennium, Mongolia has been developing and there have been economic successes. Mongolia is even referred to as a rapidly growing economy. Mining is growing particularly rapidly. Most jobs are created in this area. But the economy is highly dependent as the prices of raw materials in the world are constantly changing. The country earns sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on how the prices are. And the growing economy creates environmental problems.
Mongolia is a country not that poor in natural resources. It has coal deposits, copper, gold and molybdenum, which is a heavy metal for alloys. Oil is produced in the Gobi desert. China and China invested the largest share of Mongolian exports in Mongolia. The Russians are also building companies in Mongolia. But now the Mongolian government is also interested in Japan, the European Union and the United States in order not to remain dependent on Russia and China alone. But the most important customer is and remains China so far, and Mongolia’s dependence on China is still very high. Mongolia’s economy is growing, even though the country is one of the poorest countries in the world.
Only a very small part of Mongolia is used for agriculture, namely only 1 percent. The importance of agriculture and livestock farming continues to decline. Yet many people work in agriculture. These are the numerous nomads who roam the country with their herds of cattle.