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Landscape level research for the conservation of Asiatic wild ass in Mongolia

Mongolia is an important stronghold of the Asiatic wild ass (Equus hemionus, khulan in Mongolian) and has a global responsibility to ensure their conservation. At present, the status and trend of the khulan population in Mongolia is difficult to assess, as no standardized monitoring has been installed and very little is known about khulan ecology and movement patterns. We believe that without immediate conservation actions prospects for long-term survival of the khulan are poor and the species may potentially face extinction as did the other native equid species of Mongolia the Przewalski¿s horse (Equus ferus przewalskii). We propose a three year research project to: (1) assess to what extent the wild ass is affected or competes with domestic livestock and other human intrusions, and to what degree, (2) develop a dynamic habitat model for khulan, (3) assess the spatial integrity of the khulan population in Mongolia, and (4) test ground survey methods to design future- and interpret past wildlife surveys. The spatial scale and the temporal resolution of the anticipated habitat model are unique and in combination with satellite telemetry, direct observations, genetic analysis we believe that the proposed project will break new grounds for the understanding and conservation of khulan and other wide-ranging desert and steppe species in Central Asia. Rigorous testing and spatial modeling of a large dataset from ground surveys of low density large ungulates in a desert-steppe ecosystem can be expected to have implications for future designs. Subsequently, we aim to integrate these results in the development of a long-term conservation and management plan that should become the basis for both khulan protection and rural livelihood development.
Statistik Austria science classification
105403         Geoinformatics
106013         Genetics
106050         Vegetation science
106054         Zoology
Wildeselforschung in der Mongolei
Project leader
Walzer Christian
Type of Research
Applied research
Kaczensky P., Project team member
Vetmed Research Units
Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology
Projekt partner
Contact: Dr. Karsten Wesche
Martin-Luther Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Germany
National Universität Ulaanbaatar
Contact: Dr.Ralf Kühn
Technische Universität München, Arcisstr. 21, 80333 München, Germany
Umweltforschungszentrum Leipzig-Halle
Funded by
FWF - Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung, Sensengasse 1, 1090 Wien, Austria

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12 Publications

Kaczensky, P; Adiya, Y; von Wehrden, H; Mijiddorj, B; Walzer, C; Güthlin, D; Enkhbileg, D; Reading, RP (2014): Space and habitat use by wild Bactrian camels in the Transaltai Gobi of southern Mongolia. Biol Conserv. 2014; 169(100):311-318
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von Wehrden, H; Hanspach, J; Kaczensky, P; Fischer, J; Wesche, K (2012): Global assessment of the non-equilibrium concept in rangelands. Ecol Appl. 2012; 22(2):393-399 Open Access Logo

Kaczensky, P; Ganbataar, O; Altansukh, N; Enkhsaikhan, N; Stauffer, C; Walzer, C (2011): The danger of having all your eggs in one basket--winter crash of the re-introduced Przewalski"s horses in the Mongolian Gobi. PLoS One. 2011; 6(12):e28057
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Painer, J; Kaczensky, P; Ganbaatar, O; Huber, K; Walzer, C (2011): Comparative parasitological examination on sympatric equids in the Great Gobi "B" Strictly Protected Area, Mongolia. Eur J Wildl Res (57), 2 225-232.

Kaczensky, P; Kuehn, R; Lhagvasuren, B; Pietsch, S; Yang, W; Walzer, C (2011): Connectivity of the Asiatic wild ass population in the Mongolian Gobi. Biol Conserv. 2011; 144(2):920-929
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Illera, JC; von Wehrden, H; Wehner, J (2010): Nest site selection and the effects of land use in a multi-scale approach on the distribution of a passerine in an island arid environment. J Arid Environ (74), 11 1408-1412.

Kaczensky, P; Walzer, C (2010): Landscape level research for the conservation of Asiatic wild ass in Mongolia. pp. 28.

Huber, Nikolaus (2010): Calibrating behavioural information from GPS/SOB units through simultanious direct observation of a collared Przewalski's horse. Diplomarbeit, Vet. Med. Univ. Wien, pp. 27.

Von Wehrden, H; Zimmermann, H; Hanspach, J; Ronnenberg, K; Wesche, K (2009): Predictive Mapping of Plant Species and Communities Using GIS and Landsat Data in a Southern Mongolian Mountain Range. Folia Geobot (44), 3 211-225.

Von Wehrden, H; Zimmermann, H (2009): Plant communities of the summits of the Dund Saykhan mountain range (Southern Mongolia). Candollea (64), 1 49-67.

Walzer, C; Kaczensky, P; Ganbataar,O; Enkhsaikhan, N; Lkhagvasuren, D (2007): Capture and Anesthesia of the Mongolian wild ass (E. hemionus). Erforschung biologischer Ressourcen der Mongolei (10) 69-76.

Walzer, C; Kaczensky, P; Ganbataar, O; Lengger, J; Enkhsaikhan, N; Lkhagvasuren, D (2006): Capture and anaesthesia of wild Mongolian equids - the Przewalski's horse (E. ferrus przewalskii) and the Khulan (E. Hemionus). Mongolian Journal of Biological Sciences (4) 19-28.

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