Deltas of Orkhon and Selenge rivers

Surface area: 21,405 ha
Elevation: 594-894 m

Protection status: Unprotected.

Site description: The delta of the Orkhon and Selenge Rivers is the meeting point of the two largest rivers of Mongolia. Orkhon River is the main tributary of Selenge River and it forms many courses, tributaries, small peninsulas and lakes remained after floods at the meeting point. There grow different types of trees and grasses on the islands between tributaries. Orkhon-Selenge region is the most important agricultural zone of Mongolia, and there are numerous agricultural fields along the river valleys and population density is higher compared to any other regions because of agricultural development. The most serious threat to biodiversity at the site is the discharge of waste with heavy metals used for industrial purpose from nearby gold mines. The other threats include human settlement on islands in the rivers and fallow fields have been abandoned, resulting in the loss of top soil.

Importance for birds: Globally threatened bird species such as Swan Goose (Anser cygnoides), Baikal Teal (Anas Formosa), Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni)  and Great Bustard (Otis tarda) occur at the site. Bean Goose (Anser fabalis), Greylag Goose (A. anser) and Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) and Demoiselle Cranes (Anthropoides virgo) gather here in flocks, exceeding 1% of their flyway populations.

Special flora and fauna: Grey Wolf (Canis lupus), Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes), Pallas’s Cat (Felis manul) and Siberian Marmot (Marmota sibirica), listed in Red Data Book of Mongolia, occur at the site. Furthermore, nationally threatened fish species, such as Mongolian Grayling (Thymallus revirostris), Lenok (Brachymystax lenok) and Taimen (Hucho taimen), occur in the rivers.