Mongolia welcomed as the 106th Contracting Party
The Bureau is delighted to announce that on 8 December 1997 Mongolia deposited with the Director-General of UNESCO its instrument of accession as the 106th Ramsar Contracting Party, and the Convention will come into force for Mongolia on 8 April 1998. Mongolias first Wetland of International Importance is the 210,000-hectare Mongol Daguur (Mongolian Dauria), centered on coordinates 49º42N 115º06E in Province Dornod in Eastern Mongolia near the border with Russia, 200 km north of the city of Choibalsan.
According to its RIS (Information Sheet on Ramsar Wetlands), Mongol Daguur is a unique combination of vast and natural arid steppes and large wetlands. The larger northern part is composed of rolling steppes and wetlands on the southern shore of the Tari lake, whereas the southern part encompasses a strip of the Uldz river and its marshy wetlands with a high density of nesting white-naped cranes. Five other species of cranes are regularly encountered in the area, including the threatened hooded and Siberian cranes. Out of the 226 birds recorded, other endangered species include whooper swans, relict gull, mandarin duck, and great bustard.
Traditional semi-nomadic animal husbandry is vital for the people living round the wetlands, and some 60 families with 230 persons live within the site, with a human settlement of 2400 inhabitants near the Ramsar site border. There are a few sacred places in the area, and the site, which is state-owned, includes a 28,000 ha. Strictly Protected Area, and its 75,000 ha. buffer zone, created in 1992. The SPA has been designated as a Crane Network Site of East Asia, and a management plan is under development with assistance from the German Government Biodiversity Project. The WWF Programme Office in Mongolia assisted in the Ramsar designation and has submitted a proposal for extension of the protected area. Joint Mongolian-Russian teams have been conducting research in the area regularly since 1991.