The first EDGE conservation fellow has just been appointed to study and help conserve the long-eared jerboa in the Gobi desert of Mongolia. His name is Uuganbadrakh Oyunkhishig and he is a 22 years old ecologist studying at the National University of Mongolia (NUM).
We aim to have 10 EDGE conservation fellows working in countries throughout the world by the end of the year. They will all be young scientists or conservationists who live in the countries where the particular EDGE species of interest are found. To support 10 EDGE fellows we will have to raise adequate funds through this website. On average each EDGE fellow will cost 8,000 pounds. This will cover all educational fees, equipment fees, field work fees, and a training course. Although 8,000 pounds is a large sum of money, this can be quickly raised over the internet through many smaller donations of 10 to 20 pounds. The training course will be held at the Zoological Society of London and focus on monitoring and managing threatened, rare or cryptic species. Each EDGE fellow will have a blog so that their progress can be followed through this website.
This summer Uuganbadrakh Oyunkhishig will research the status and distribution of the long-eared jerboa and identify the dominant threat processes. Overgrazing is believed to be a possible cause of the species decline. If this is the case, he will work with the local herders to identify ways in which overgrazing can be reduced in areas that are believed to be critical habitat for this amazing species.
The next entry on this blog will be by Uuganbadrakh Oyunkhishig outlining his future plans.