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Understanding the Impact of Livestock and Climate on Rangeland Productivity and Nomadic Herder Livelihoods in Mongolia

Research Location: Ikh Nart Nature Reserve, Mongolia
Conservation Partners: Mongolian Conservation Coalition, Ikh Nart Park Administration, Institute for Integrative Conservation, and the W&M Center for Geospatial Analysis

Student Researcher

Jordan Bryant ‘23, Major: Biology, Major: Environmental Science

Faculty Mentor
Dr.Robert Rose
Project Description

Mongolia's globally important biodiversity and nomadic herding communities are considered highly vulnerable to the ecological impacts of climate change. Climate change, combined with an unregulated surge in mining and an increasing market for cashmere, has led to the degradation of nearly 70% of Mongolia's rangelands. The resilience of Mongolia's wildlife and rich nomadic heritage is contingent, therefore, upon the development and implementation of sustainable rangeland management.

Mongolian Conservation Initiative and Ikh Nart Nature Reserve Park Administration are working with nomadic herder communities living in and around Ikh Nart Nature Reserve in the Gobi-Steppe Ecosystem of southeastern Mongolia to develop a rangeland management plan needed to ensure the protection of globally important biodiversity and the viability of nomadic herding livelihoods.

Working alongside a team of Mongolian scientists, Jordan conducted research on the impacts of livestock and climate on rangeland species composition and biomass in Ikh Nart Nature Reserve using a 15-year vegetation dataset. This research is contributing to Ikh Nart's community-led rangeland management strategy that aims to protect and promote the biodiversity of Mongolia's grasslands and the livelihoods of nomadic herder communities in Ikh Nart.

Project ID - Format
21-002-21 - CRP Year