The extensive grasslands of the Mongolian-Manchurian Ecoregion spread inland across the coastal hills of northeastern China and stretch toward the boreal forests of southern Siberia.
This project seeks to fill in knowledge gaps about species distribution in the ecoregion's extreme southwest corner, a 20,000 sq. km area known as a crossroads for species and subspecies from western and southern Mongolia. Several severely imperiled mammals probably occur in these grasslands, while verified sightings of wapiti deer (Cervus canadensis) and Siberian ibex (Capra sibirica) suggest possible range extensions and improved understanding of distributions of other mammals in the area.
Using camera trapping, field transects and live traps, the project team will inventory wild mammals in area's mountain, steppe and sand dune habitats across the seasons. Updating a checklist of mammals in this ecotone could help fill the so-called Wallacean shortfall and increase the reliability of information about the mammal communities of the central steppes of Mondolia. The team will seek to publish its checklist in a peer-reviewed journal and share species occurrence records via GBIF.org—records expected to be the first mammal occurrences from the study area.
A team from Mongolia-based Green Initiative NGO will implement the project in collaboration with international experts. Local government personnel from Bayan Onjuul will also support the field work, which could aid future conservation action based on this project's results.