Wild animals of Mongolia

Mongolia is home of various wild animals with 139 species of mammals, 450 species of birds and 331 of them are migratory birds. In addition, there are 22 species of reptiles, 6 species of amphibians and 76 fish species.

Mazaalai- Gobi Bear

Gobi Bear, known as Mazaalai are listed as Crotocally endangered in the Mongolian red book og Endangered Species and it is an ancient sub-species of the brown bear. Mazaalai is the only one bear species in the Gobi desert of Mongolia.

Gobi bears are small compared to the majority of other brown bear family. Male adults weigh around 98-138 kg and females only 51-78 kg. Mazaalai look light brown, with a bit darker head, belly and legs. Moreover, according to the last researches there ere around 30 of them are registered. 

Source: Khureelen project


Mongolia is a country of various types and species of native birds and migrating birds.  There are 434 species of birds, belonging to 193 genera, 56 families and 17 orders, have been registered and observed in Mongolia.  Around  330 species from this are migratory and the remaining 104 species inhabit Mongolia year-round. Approximately 50 species migrate through Mongolia and 20 species are observed here occasionally. During your trip in Mongolia, you may see birds, including: Siberian Crane Grus leucogeranus, White-naped Crane Grus vipio, Houbara Bustard Chlamydotis undulata, Black Stock Ciconia nigra, Dalamatian Pelican Pelicanus crispus, White Spoonbill Platelea Leucorodia, Baikal Teal Anas formosa, Asiatic Dowitcher Limnodromus semiplamatus and Relict Gull Larus relictus. Mongolian lakes and rivers are the main habitat for the birds, such as Khuvusgul lake , Uvs lake, Khar-Us, Dayan, Terkhiin Tsagaan, Ugii lake.

Source: Khureelen project

Because Mongolia is a landlocked country and is situated in the Centre of the Asian continent, there are only fishes of river and lake varieties in the country. There are 75 species of fish, belonging to 36 genera and 11 families living in the Mongolian water basin. As researchers determined, up to 700 tones of fish could be taken every year from Mongolia's lakes and rivers at present. According to the Environment Ministry report, since 2000, the fishing quota has decreased year by year. For instance, 322 tons offish in 2001 and 250 tons in 2002 were allowed. "The Mongolian Law on Hunting" adopted in 1995, supported by other laws and regulations, has played an important role in the development of fish cultures, and the conservation of fish species in this country. According to the provisions of this law, the Amur Sturgeon Acipenser shrenki and Siberian or Baikal Sturgeon Acipenser Baeri are listed as protected and the Glass ( Chinese ) Carp Ctenogharyngodon idella, Silver Carp Hypophthalmicthys molitrix, and Tench Tinea tinea, are registered as endangered . In addition , 6 species of fish have been included in the Mongolian Red Book and necessary measures have been taken to conserve these species. In order to preserve the fish stocks on a larger scale and to maintain favourable conditions for their breeding, several lakes, such as the Khuvsgul, Uvs, Terkhiin Tsagaan, Dayan, Khoton, Khar Us lakes and some important parts of rivers have been  categorised as  protected  areas.

Snow leopard

Listed Mongolian Red Book as very rare in endangered category.

Snow leopards are widely distributed in the mountains of western Mongolia and occur in the Altai Mountains, the Khangai Mountains, the Khan-khokhii Mountains and Kharkhiraa, Turgen, Tsagaan Shuvuut Mountains, and in isolated mountainous sections of the Trans-Altai Gobi. The highest density of Snow leopard occurred in Turgen and Tsagaan Shuvuut Strictly Protected Areas during the several years’ field survey. Habitat: Snow Leopard habitat includes steep broken mountainous regions in the alpine and sub-alpine zones, where vegetation is sparse. Range wide, population estimates to occur in altitude from 2,000 to 3,500 m.

Population estimates of Snow leopard in Mongolia vary from about 700 to 1200 heads, with a density of 1 to 1.5 leopards per 100 km2 .


Argali or wild sheep is listed as a Rare Animal in the Mongolian Red Book and exposed Mountains, hills and sandy bluffs with high attitude in Altai - at 3500m, in Umnogobi and Trans-Altai Gobi - at more than 1100 m, and in Khuvsgol - at 1250-2500 m. In summer, Argali in the Altai and Khangai

Mountains migrate up to glacier meadows, moving down in the winter. Sometimes Argali migrate seasonally to find water and better pasture.

In Mongolia Argali sheep is distributed in relatively larger areas of distribution are noted in Myangan Ugalzat, Boorog, of Khovd province,Aj Bogd Mountain of Gobi-Altai province, Oshig of Ovorkhangai

province, and Gobi Gurvan Saikhan Mountain of Umnogobi province. Distribution of Argali increased in Tov, Khentii aimag, but declined in Bayan-Ulgii, Bayankhongor and Gobi-Altai provinces.


Takhi or Przewalskii horse is one of the the seven equide species in the world. From 1930s Takhi became threatened in Mongolia and it was extinct in the wild.

In 1991, upon the Government of Mongolia decision to coordinate reintroduction of Przewalskii horse in the country, a National Takhi Commission was established. At present, two sub-populations have been reintroduced in different regions of Mongolia.

Mongolian gazelle

The Eastern Mongolian steppe is the comparatively untouched last habitat area of Mongolian gazelle population.

Musk deer

The musk deer is a sub-alpine taiga species and it inhabits areas with cedar forests that occur in upper northern slopes of Khentii and Khuvsgol Mountains and areas along the mountain tops of Khangai and Khan Khokhii Mountain Ranges.

Mongolian saiga

Mongolian saiga isted as a very rare animal in publications of the Mongolian Red Book. The main habitat of the animal is steppe areas of Mountains with attitude of 1100-1200m. Migrate between mountain pastures and valleys in response to

severe winters and summer drought.

(Source: Mongolian Wild life WWF )