Threats affecting the survival of the Mongolian khulan

From the interviews Anne-Camille Souris and her team conducted in 2006, 2008 and 2009 it appears that traditionally Mongolian people view the Khulan as an honored animal in Mongolian culture. Most of local people and herders interviewed think that the Khulan should be protected from extinction.


But, massive livestock losses during the recent severe winters have led to increase poaching of Khulan for meat. From a nationwide survey, the illegal trade of Khulan was estimated at about 3,000 individuals annually (Wingard and Zahler, 2006).


From other researchers and teams (see all references here) and from research our team did conduct in the south and south-east Gobi (Ömnögobi aimag and Dornogobi aimag) in 2008, 2009 and 2010 and from interviews of the local population and specialists working in the South Gobi Strictly Protected Areas that we conducted at the same time, main threats affecting the Mongolian Khulan's survival are:


-habitat fragmention with resources extraction (copper, gold, coal...) and the building of numerous roads and some railways joining mines to the Chinese border;


-an increasing illegal hunting of Khulan and an increasing illegal trade of Khulan meat with also use of this sub-species in traditionnal medecine and other purpose;


-and competition with livestock to access to natural ressources. From our observations it appears that when domestic livestock stays at a water source, wild khulans wait in the surrounding that domestic animals leave it, and then, go to drink at the water point.