The Association GOVIIN KHULAN* is a French non-profit organization co-founded in November 2007 by Anne-Camille Souris (wildlife biologist, studying Mongolian wild Equids behavioral ecology since 2003, member of the SSC/IUCN Equid Specialist Group and National Geographic explorer since 2008).


Association GOVIIN KHULAN is first and only conservation organization in the world sorely dedicated to the conservation of the threatened Mongolian Wild Ass / Mongolian Khulan (Equus hemionus hemionus), in partnership with protected areas and local communities. 


* "Goviin khulan" means in Mongolian: The Khulan of the Gobi. 

Our mission

Association GOVIIN KHULAN's mission is to conserve the Khulan (Mongolian Wild Ass) as an umbrella and a keystone species of the Gobi Desert ecosystem, thus also enhancing protection of Gobi species and the Gobi Desert ecosystem, together with local communities and protected areas for people and wildlife to thrive and coexist in harmony on the long-term. 


Our vision

We envision Mongolia where populations of Khulans/Mongolian Wild Asses, Gobi species and people thrive and coexist in harmony in preserved landscapes, with an active and long-term commitment of local communities to care and value nature for the ecosystem services it provides, and also as a cultural heritage.

Our conservation activities to achieve our mission and vision

Scientific research - We conduct research, and partner with other scientific teams on several aspects of biodiversity, ecology and wildlife behavioral ecology. 



Capacity building

  • We provide professional training to protected areas' staff and rangers we cooperate with in order to enhance their knowledge and skills about ecology and biodiversity conservation as well as about research methods. We are developing a specific curriculum for protected areas that will contain on-site, in-the-field and online training and knowledge assessment activities.
  • We also provide training and support to some members of the local communities (herders, Buddhist monks and more) to empower them as 'Guardians of Nature and Wildlife' and as 'Citizen conservationists' to help improve knowledge and protection of Gobi species and also use natural resources on a sustainable way. These communities' members live in our study areas all year round and depend on a healthy ecosystem to survive. They can also provide an invaluable contribution to the long-term success of protection of Gobi wildlife and their habitat. 


Community-based and led conservation activities

  • We involve some members of the local communities in our conservation activities
  • We empower them to initiate and lead their own conservation activities,
  • We also partner with already existing community-led conservation groups.


Local culture and traditions in support to biodiversity conservation

  • We work with Buddhist monks from our study area to reinforce links between Mongolian culture and traditions with conservation of the Mongolian Khulan, Gobi wildlife and the Gobi ecosystem. 
  • We also work with Mongolian artists to elevate the Khulan to the status of a symbol representing the rich biodiversity and cultural heritage of Mongolia. 

Environmental education and awareness - We conduct conservation education and awareness activities in the Gobi Desert to inform, engage and empower the local community in wildlife and ecosystems protection. We produce exclusive educational resources such as educational brochures, monitoring brochures, cartoons and children's books in collaboration with local artists and designers. 

Participatory research, citizen science, responsible and conservation tourism - We organize, in partnership with locally based and international travel agencies, wildlife observation, ecotourism and citizen science expeditions in our study area and other areas of Mongolia, during which travelers can: observe a high variety of wildlife, be involved in some of our research and conservation activities and meet with our local scientific assistants and members of our study area's local community. 

Current status of the Khulan and the Gobi Desert

  • The Khulan is a threatened species, listed in the IUCN Red List. This is one of the sub-species of the Asiatic Wild Ass and represents about 80% of the population of this species in the world. 
  • The main threats affecting the Gobi Desert ecosystem and its wildlife are: climate change, illegal hunting and trade, and habitat fragmentation, loss and degradation from human development. 


Our study area

Our project areas are currently located in the south (Umnugobi) and southeast (Dornogobi) regions of Mongolia's Gobi Desert.