Darkhad depression

Surface area: 195,223 ha
Elevation: 1,538-1,970 m

Protection status: Unprotected.

Site description: Darkhad depression, stretched about 150km long from northeast to southwest and 40km wide, covers Ulaan Uul, Renchinlkhumbe and Tsagaan Nuur soums territories. The depression is surrounded by Munkh Saridag /3269m/, Khoriol Saridag /3193m/ and Ulaan Taiga /3052m/ high mountains. Darkhad depression comprises the Bagtakh, Khug, Ar Khoridol, Arsai, Sharga, Tengis, Shishkhed Rivers and about 230 large and small lakes, so it is rich with water resources. The major uses of land are livestock grazing, hay and forage production. The site considered as a suitable place where health resort and tourism can be developed.

Importance for birds: Globally threatened bird species such as Pallas’s Fish-eagle (Haliaeetus leucoryphus), Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug), White-naped Crane (Grus vipio), Greater Spotted Eagle (Aquila clanga), Lesser Kestrel (F. naumanni), Great Bustard (Otis tarda) and Black Stork (Ciconia nigra), Osprey (Pandion haliaetus), Whooper Swan (Cygnus Cygnus) and Bar-headed Goose (Anser indicus), listed in Red Data Book of Mongolia, occur at the site. Bar-headed Goose (Anser indicus), Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea), Gadwall (Anas strepera), Common Pochard (Aythya ferina), Tufted duck (Aythya fuligula) and Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula) gather here in flocks, exceeding 1% of their flyway populations. Bird species of the Eurasian steppe and desert also common at the site.

Special flora and fauna: Evergreen trees native to the taiga such as Siberian fir (Abies sibirica) and (Sausseria dorogostoiskii) grow at the site.