Interesting Animals You can see in Mongolia

Mongolia is a paradise for animal-loving travelers. Mongolia has 449 distinct species of birds, 139 distinct species of mammals, 76 different species of fish, 22 distinct species of reptiles and six distinctive species of amphibians. So here are few interesting animals you can see in Mongolia.

 

Argali sheep

The Siberian Ibex, Markhour, and Argali are all examples of wild goats. Though they may seem similar, there are distinct differences between goats and sheep – namely that goats are browsers and prefer to eat shrubs, twigs, leaves, and vines while sheep are grazers who mostly stick to grass.

The Argali sheep is the largest species of wild goat and unfortunately it’s a threatened species. However, one of the largest populations can be found in Mongolia in the Altai mountains region.

Wild Bactrian camel

The Wild Bactrian camel, also known as the Camélidès ferrus or Camelus ferus, is a wild camel species that dates back more than 700,000 years. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which manages the Red Book of Endangered Species, classifies it as the only genuine wild camel species in the world. Approximately 600 individuals survive in the wild out of 900–1,000 camels that remain.

The hump of the wild Bactrian camel is smaller, lower, and more conical in form than that of the domestic Bactrian camel. Its wool is shorter and always sandy colored, unlike its domestic counterpart. They can subsist on water saltier than seawater, an ability no other mammal in the world has, including the domesticated Bactrian camel.

leopard

Snow Leopard

The Snow Leopard, also known as the ounce or Panthera uncia, is a large cat that can only be found in the mountains of Central and South Asia.

The snow leopard, a big cat with platinum fur and dark spots, is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. Their global population numbers less than 8,000 individuals. Out of 1000 snow leopards living in Mongolia, half make their home in the mountains of the Altai Mountain range. They are top predators in this area and mostly hunt ibexes due to their powerful back legs that enable them to jump up to 15m high.

Seeing those stunning snow creatures in the Altai Mountains is an experience you won’t soon forget. So if you’re interested in majestic animals, Mongolia Altai Region is the place to be.

Gobi Bear

The Gobi bear is a subspecies of the brown bear that lives in the Gobi Desert. It is also known as the Mazaalai bear. The Gobi bear is the only bear that lives in a desert. The Gobi bear is smaller than most brown bears. They have longer hair on their head and neck, which helps protect them from the strong sun. Their diet consists mostly of insects, so they don’t need to drink water very often.

There are only 30 to 40 Gobi bears remaining in the wild, and they are listed as critically endangered. Adult Gobi bears weigh 100 to 130 kg, while females weigh 50 to 80 kg; considerably smaller than pandas. These omnivorous creatures subsist off of roots, berries, plants, and rodents but have never been recorded preying on large mammals. Both international and local organizations are working diligently to save these animals from extinction through behavior studies and environmental improvements.

Przewalski’s horse

If you’re interested in seeing an endangered species of wild horse up close, Khustain Nuruu National Park is the place to go. The Takhi or Przewalski’s horse is the last remaining wild horse species in the world thanks to zoo breeding programmes. These efforts saved the species from extinction when only 12 individuals remained in 1945. By 2016, there were about 2,000 Takhi horses living in zoos and reserves around the globe due to these conservation efforts.

Lammergeyer

The Lammergeyer, more commonly known as the bearded vulture because of the feathers under its beak, has an impressively large wingspan. What’s more, it’s the only bird species that prefer eating bone marrow to flesh. In fact, they will quite easily swallow bones which dissolve in their digestive system. If a bone is too big to swallowing whole however, they will carry it up high and drop on rocks so that the marrow is exposed.

These birds are found in the Asian continent. The largest population of bearded vultures reside in the Tibetan Plateau but they can also be spotted in Mongolia. They prefer living and nesting on rocky cliffs, which is why you’ll often see them soaring high up in the sky.

If you’re lucky enough to see one, it’s definitely an experience you won’t forget.