Khasagtkhairkhan

Surface area: 28.309ha
Elevation: 1.270-3.578m

Protection status: Partially protected by Khasagt Khairkhan Strictly Protected Area.

Site description: The site covers Khasagt Khairkhan Mountain and its southern foothill area. Khasagt Khairkhan is a giant mountain, isolated from the Mongol Altai Mountain range that extended into Great Lakes Basin. It is separated from Mongol Altai mountain range by Sharga and Khuisiin Gobi, and from Khangai Mountains by Guzeen Teel valley and the Zavkhan River. Mountainous area is rocky and there can be found various vegetation zones along elevation gradients. Forests are located on higher elevation slopes, up to 2.800m, mostly on north-facing slopes of the mountain. The top of the mountain is characterized by alpine meadow and high mountain steppe vegetation zones, while foothills characterized by moderate dry steppe and semi-desert vegetation zones, with dense bushes and shrubs. The major treats to site are poaching, grazing overlap between wildlife and livestock and degradation of pastureland.

Importance for birds: Globally threathened bird species such as Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug), White-throated Bushchat (Saxicola insignis), Houbara Bustar (Chlamydotis undulata) and Lesser Kestrel (F. naumanni) occur at the site. The site also supports the following bird species: Cinereous Vulture (Aegypius monachus), Himalayan Griffon (Gyps himalayensis) and Altai Snowcock (Tetraogallus altaicus). Bird species of the Eurasian steppe and desert biome, including Pallas’s Sandgrouse (Syrrhaptes paradoxus), Mongolian Ground Jay (Podoces hendersoni), Steppe Eagle (Aquila nipalensis), Pied Wheatear (Oenanthe pleschanka), Greater Sand Plover (Charadrius leschenaultia) and Demoiselle Crane (Anthropoides virgo), are common at the lower elevation of the mountain.

Special flora and fauna: Globally and nationally endangered wildlife species, including Snow Leopard (Uncia uncial), Argali (Ovis ammon), Siberian Ibex (Capra sibirica), Red Deer (Cervus elaphus), Pallas's Cat (Felis manul) and Stone Marten occur at the site. There also occur Goitered Gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa), Pallas’s Cat (Felis manul), Eurasian Lynx (Lynx lynx) and Siberian Marmot (Marmota sibirica) in the foothills of the mountain.

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