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New EDGE Fellow: Meet Buuvei!

By on June 27, 2008 in Uncategorized, EDGE Updates, EDGE Fellows, Mammals, Saiga

I am happy to welcome our newest EDGE Fellow, Buuvei, who will be researching the saiga antelope in Mongolia. Buuvei sent the following information to introduce himself:

Hello! My name is Bayarbaatar Buuveibaatar (Buuvei). I have been working at Mammalian Ecology Laboratory, Institute of Biology, Mongolian Academy of Sciences (MAS) as wildlife biologist since May 2005.

I received my Master’s degree from National University of Mongolia and I completed my master thesis on migration and conservation of the Mongolian gazelle. During my research career at MAS, I have been involved in several international projects targeted on a variety of species from those as small as pollinators to the Asiatic wild ass.

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Buuvei with domestic camels

Currently, I am engaged in a Mongolian saiga conservation project funded by the Wildlife Conservation Society. The Saiga Antelope (Saiga tatarica) is a migratory species and is found in the semiarid environment of Central Asia, in Kazakhstan, Russia and Mongolia. The Mongolian saiga is a unique subspecies that has been long isolated from the more numerous populations by the Altai Mountains. They occur at low densities but across a wide area of the western Mongolian Gobi steppe-desert. The climate of Gobi desert is strongly continental and arid, characterized by a cold winter (to -45 °C), dry, windy springs, and relatively wet, hot summers (to 40°C).

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Winter habitat of the Mongolian saiga

The Mongolian saiga has declined dramatically in recent years. Estimates just a few years ago put the total population at less than 1,000 animals. The major factors limiting saiga populations include harsh winter, poaching, livestock related pasture degradation and predation including that by domestic dogs.

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Newborn saiga calf

Saiga antelope is 62nd of the top 100 EDGE mammals. I have received an EDGE Fellowship grant to work on saiga conservation and goal of my study is to determine the impacts of domestic dogs on Mongolian saiga. I will use different methods to reach the goals. First, local herders will be interviewed to clarify issues about dog-saiga interaction. Secondly, to understand effect of free-roaming dog on recruitment and abundance of the saiga population, we will establish transect lines within saiga range.

To support Buuvei’s conservation research on the saiga antelope in Mongolia, please click here.