The Gobi Desert

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Humans drive the need for extensive groundwater use, particularly in China, where the government encourages farming even though annual precipitation is often less than mm. This leads to competition for limited environmental resources between agriculture, cities such as Hohhot, Baotou and Urumqi each more than 2m people , mining and traditional herding Mongolia and settled livestock-raising China.

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Conservation of the tenuous desert environment and rural livelihoods encounter several socio-economic forces and physical challenges. In Mongolia water is essential for animals and household needs yet supply is obscured in shallow and deep aquifers that are difficult for locals to tap.

This results in conflict between local residents and businesses for limited water and raises issues of land use and livelihood viability among mobile herders, still the dominant lifestyle in rural Mongolia. In China strong state control and intervention has resulted in a manipulated water system where farmers need swipe-cards to get allocated water, use of natural pastures for animals is restricted and ecological resettlement sees once-mobile herders settled in villages by government decree.

Removal of livestock opens land for farming and most importantly, for profitable mining that often is owned, or directly benefits, local governments. Mining in the region has led to economic growth, jobs, pollution, land degradation, dust generation and settlements that lack basic infrastructure.

What Animals Live In The Gobi Desert? -

The notion of conservation and the role of nature in everyday life is integral to the Mongolian conception of the world whereas the Chinese model is focused on economic and infrastructure development irrespective of environmental impact. This splits the Gobi at the border; on one side roads, fencing, settlement, degradation and policy has ended free movement in China and sees the environment as something to be managed and exploited to ultimately benefit the several layers of government.

This means creating non-financial value for wild steppe and desert regions. Without care the environment can become less productive and potentially experience desertification.

Gobi Desert, Mongolia: Gobi Desert Reviews: 4.5/5

Preserving nature takes insightful policy, sustainable land use, recognition of environmental benefits and the support of rural and mining communities. While the Communist Party remains in power conservation will be sacrificed for perceptions of growth and social stability. Edition: Available editions United Kingdom. Troy Sternberg , University of Oxford.

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A Mongolian monk tends to his solar panels, deep in the Gobi desert. These camels were thought to have descended from the domestic camels that escaped to establish feral populations. However, recent scientific research has suggested that wild Bactrian camels diverged as a separate species long before domestication.

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Today, these wild animals have a very restricted range in the wild, remote parts of the Gobi and Taklamakan Deserts. These camels wander for long distances in groups of 2 to 15 members or even more. The wild Bactrian camels are a critically endangered species today, and only about 1, individuals remain in the wild today. Hunting, poaching, wolf attacks, hybridization with domestic camels are the factors catalyzing the disappearance of the Bactrian camels. The golden eagle Aquila chrysaetos is one of the most notable birds that can be viewed soaring in the sky above the Gobi Desert.

The bird of prey build nests at high altitudes in the desert, and feeds on the rodents and other small mammals, reptiles, etc. The Mongolian wild ass Equus hemionus hemionus is found in northern China and Mongolia.

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The animal is a herbivore which can live on the sparse vegetation found in the arid habitat of the Gobi Desert. The Mongolian wild ass was recorded as a Near Threatened species by the IUCN in , and about 23, mature individuals are estimated to live in the wild. Poaching and competition for food offered by grazing livestock are the two biggest threats to the Mongolian wild ass population.

The Gobi ibex is closely related to the Altai ibex but is smaller in size due to the scarcity of vegetation in its arid habitat. The length of the ibex varies between 4. The horns of this ibex are shorter and slimmer than that of its counterpart, the Altai ibex. Sadly, the animal is hunted for pleasure and organized hunts of the Gobi ibex are arranged by the trophy hunting industry operating in the region.

The marbled polecat Vormela peregusna is a small mammal that is found in the arid, semi-arid, and grassland habitat of western China and southeastern Europe including the Gobi Desert. The cats can easily adapt themselves to a wide variety of habitats and can also survive in open deserts. The animals feed on rodents, insects, and birds in their habitat. The black-tailed gazelle or the goitered gazelle Gazella subgutturosa is an animal living in the Gobi Desert and is also found in parts of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Turkey.

Within its range, the goitered gazelle inhabits limestone plateau and gravel plains and migrate seasonally in search of food. The Gobi bear Ursus arctos gobiensis is a brown bear subspecies that is found in the Gobi Desert region of Mongolia.

It is the rarest subspecies of bear and is listed as Critically Endangered. Gobi bears are omnivorous in nature and consume roots, berries, plants, and occasionally large mammals. Adult Gobi bears weigh around Snow Leopard Panthera uncia is the top predator in the Gobi Desert. The Gobi ibex serves as the main prey of the snow leopard.