Theme 3: Livestock--Oral Sessions

Description

In the Great Gobi B Strictly Protected Area (Great Gobi B), wild and domestic ungulates seasonally share the forage of the semi-desert and desert habitat. Around 130 herder families are grazing their livestock, mainly goats and sheep, in the protected area in winter. Wild ungulates of global significance in Great Gobi B include the reintroduced Przewalski’s horse (Equus ferus przewalskii),which had previously been extinct in the wild. To determine potential habitat overlaps between Przewalski’s horses and livestock, we mapped the movements of 19 livestock herds monitored via GPS collars and ranger observations of Przewalski’s horse herds over a one year period from September 2018 to August 2019. We additionally conducted focus group interviews with nomadic herders about their rangeland management. We found that pasture use in and around the Great Gobi B is still following the nomadic tradition, with herders moving camp locations on average eleven times per year, depending on forage availability. Our results show that the range of Przewalski’s horses and livestock mostly overlap around permanent and ephemeral water points. However, the same resources are used in different seasons. The protected area was recently expanded to twice its size, now also including additional herder households and traditional pastures. For the ongoing discussion about concerning the new zonation of the enlarged protected area it is important to consider both, herder and wildlife movements patterns, to meet the conservation goals of the protected area but also meet the needs of the traditional pastoral herding community.

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On the Move – Do Domestic and Wild Ungulate Species Distributions Overlap in the Mongolian Gobi?

In the Great Gobi B Strictly Protected Area (Great Gobi B), wild and domestic ungulates seasonally share the forage of the semi-desert and desert habitat. Around 130 herder families are grazing their livestock, mainly goats and sheep, in the protected area in winter. Wild ungulates of global significance in Great Gobi B include the reintroduced Przewalski’s horse (Equus ferus przewalskii),which had previously been extinct in the wild. To determine potential habitat overlaps between Przewalski’s horses and livestock, we mapped the movements of 19 livestock herds monitored via GPS collars and ranger observations of Przewalski’s horse herds over a one year period from September 2018 to August 2019. We additionally conducted focus group interviews with nomadic herders about their rangeland management. We found that pasture use in and around the Great Gobi B is still following the nomadic tradition, with herders moving camp locations on average eleven times per year, depending on forage availability. Our results show that the range of Przewalski’s horses and livestock mostly overlap around permanent and ephemeral water points. However, the same resources are used in different seasons. The protected area was recently expanded to twice its size, now also including additional herder households and traditional pastures. For the ongoing discussion about concerning the new zonation of the enlarged protected area it is important to consider both, herder and wildlife movements patterns, to meet the conservation goals of the protected area but also meet the needs of the traditional pastoral herding community.