Results of assessment of the current status and degree of disturbance of the desert-steppe rangelands of western Mongolia
Concern about the status of Mongolia’s rangelands has increased due to dramatic increases in livestock populations of this country during the past 18 years. The objective of this study was to document the current status and degree of disturbance of the desert-steppe rangelands of western Mongolia. A total of 123 rangeland monitoring sites representing 33 million hectares (21 % of total country area) were established and inventoried in July/August 2008. Overall, our study indicated that 82.9% of the dessert-steppe rangelands, consisting of 27.36 million hectares, have been degraded to some extent. The degree of degradation varies; slight 26%, moderate 30.9%, severe 13.8% and very severe 12.2% of total the area. In conclusion, in addition to natural factors several specific human-driven causes, such as animal husbandry have led to widespread disturbance in Mongolian desert-steppe rangelands.
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