GREAT BUSTARD – TOUR

  • Otis tarda Linnaeus, 1758
  • Gruiformes
  • Otididae
  • Great Bustard

Status: Rare species. According to the IUCN Red List categories and criteria,the species evaluated as – Vulnerable.

Distribution and Range: Once widely distributed on Mongolian steppes, the species were sighted in small numbers in open spaces of the Dornod, Khentii, Sukhbaatar, Tov, Khangai, Bulgan, Selenge, Zavkhan and Uvs Aimags. Used to winter in Jargalant of Tov Aimag and occasionally near the Lag Lake in Dornod Aimag. In recent years, the species winter on agricultural fields of the Eg, Tarbagatai, Tarialan, Erdene, Bulgan soums in small groups from 20-to 100 individuals.


Habitat: Mongolian open steppes, river valleys, meadows, forest edge steppe and wheat fields in winter.

Population and Threats: Population not assessed. Threats: habitat degradation due to livestock grazing in the breeding sites, cutting grass, cultivating, loss of food supply due to chemicals, fire hazards, dzud and poaching, close to persishing due to natural and anthropogenic factors. Chicks are preyed upon birds of prey, foxes, wild fox, wolves, dogs. Desease transmitted by parasites.

Conservation Measures: Hunting prohibited since 1980. Included as Rare animal in the Annex to the Mongolian Government Resolution #7 (2012), included in the CITES, Annex II and the Russian Red Data Book, the Mongolian Red Book. (1987, 1997).

Further actions: Develop protection measures based on the distribution, population abundance, reproductive biology and ecology research, include the wintering habitat within the NSPAN, restore natural resources through captive breeding.

 

  • TOUR CODE: 201904
  • Route:  Khurkh valley - Mongol Daguur strictly protected area
  • Month:  May, June, August, September
  • Zone:  Eastern Mongolia & Central Mongolia
  • Province: Khentii, Dornod & Tov provinces
  • Total km:  2000 km

TRAVEL DESTINATIONS:
Gun galuutai – National park, Kherlen river, Khurkh valley, Onon – Balj national park, Gurvan nuur lake, Ugtam mountain, Chukh lake, Ulz river basin, Mongol Daguur strictly protected area, Khukh lake, Yahi lake, Choibalsan town, Chinggis town, UB city.


BIRDS TO WATCH:

GUN GALUUTAI NATIONAL PARK: Amur Falcon, Baikal Tern, Bean Goose, Black-headed Gull, Black Redstart, Booted Eagle, Common Crane, Common Redstart, Common Tern, Daurian Starling, Demoiselle Crane, Godlewski’s Bunting, Great Bustard, Great Crested Grebe, Greater Spotted eagle, Greenish Warbler, Hodgson’s Redstart, Hooded Crane, Imperial Eagle, Japanese Crane, Lesser Kestrel, Marsh Grassbird, Marsh Hawk, Mongolian Lark, Northern Lapwing, Pallas’s Sea-Eagle, Relict Gull, Ruddy Shelduck, Saker Falcon, Short-eared Owl, Siberian White Crane, Steppe Eagle, Swan Goose, Three-toed Woodpecker, White-naped Crane, Whooper Swan, Upland Buzzard, Yellow-headed Wagtail.

KHURKH – ONON BALJ: Baikal Teal, Bean Goose, Black Grouse, Black-billed Capercaillie, Black Stork, Cinereous Vulture, Common Crane, Common Goldeneye, Common Pochard, Common Shelduck, Common Teal, Demoiselle Crane, Eurasian Pygmy-owl, Great Bustard, Great Crested Grebe, Greater Spotted Eagle, Hooded Crane, Imperial Eagle, Lesser Kestrel, Lesser White-fronted Goose, Northern Hawk Owl, Northern Lapwing, Pallas’s Fisheagle, Red-crowned Crane, Ruddy Shelduck, Rufous-tailed Robin, Saker Falcon, Siberian Crane, Shoveler, Swan Goose, Tufted duck, Ural Owl, White-naped Crane, Whooper Swan, Yellow breasted Bunting.


UGTAM MOUNTAIN, MONGOL DAGUUR STRICTLY PROTECTED AREA, YAHI LAKE: Baer's Pochard, Baikal Teal, Bean Goose, Common Pochard, Common Shelduck, Demoiselle Crane, Gadwall, Great Bustard, Great Cormorant, Great Crested Grebe, Grey Heron, Hooded Crane, Lesser Kestrel, Northern Lapwing, Oriental Stork, Pallas’s Fisheagle, Red-crowned Crane, Reed parrotbill, Relict Gull, Ruddy Shelduck, Saker Falcon, Siberian Crane, Steppe Eagle, Swan Goose, White-naped Crane, White-tailed Eagle, Whooper Swan

 

Price: Depends on the number members. Service includes: Hotel, tourist camp, road taxes, taxes for national parks, fees and taxes of city tour, driver, gasoline, guide, bird Professional guide, travel equipment, water, all meals, transport fees from/to airport and hotel.


ITINERARY
Day 1

Arrive to Mongolia. (International flights arrives to Mongolia mostly early in the morning or afternoon past 17:00 clock.) If you arrive in morning flight we will add near city observation program. Stay at hotel near airport.

Day 2
Early in the morning we will drive to Gun galuutai situated 130km east of Ulaanbaatar. This site with beautiful landscape compromises small lakes, Kherlen river and steppe is the heaven to birds where we can see wetland birds. Overnight stay at tourist camp. (130 км) 
Day 3

Drive to Khurkh valley, located on the boundaries of Batshireet, Binder, Umnudelger and Bayan-Adraga soums of Khentii province, the eastern part of Mongolia. Khurkh valley is the valley along Zuunbayan river stretches 13km. There is 3-4km long bushy grove which provides good stopover for small birds during spring and autumn. (370 km)

Day 4

We will spend this day doing observation in the Khurkh river valley which runs to Onon river, one of the biggest river of Mongolia. In the last 50 years expedition groups of Mongolia-Russia, Mongolia-Germany and Mongolia-Hungary conducting scientific research, banding or ringing small birds in the Khurkh valley. Therefore, the “Crane festival” takes place in the last 10 days of July at Khurkh valley, jointly organized by local community, organizing events to introduce birds to children and teach them how to take of birds and do observation. (120 km)

Day 5

Today we will do observation around the beautiful places like Gurvan lake and Onon balj in Dadal soum, which is famous for birthplace of Chinggis khaan. This site is rich in different types of trees, bushes and shrubs, cliffs, small and mid-sized rivers, lakes, valleys and hills which comprise grassland and steppe where different types of birds occur in high numbers during migration. Overnight stay in tourist camp. (100 km)

Day 6

Bird watching in Bayan-Uul soum, Ugtam mountain and Chuh lake of Dornod province. Ulz river valley comprises small lakes, broadleaf forest and mountain steppe. There were recorded 250 species of birds at this site. In the evening we will stay at Chuh resort, established during Socialism. (180 km)


Day 7

Bird watching in Mongol Daguur strictly protected area, located in Ulz river basin, the foremost northern part of Mongolia. The site is flat plain with low rolling hills. Cranes, bustards, swans, ducks and shorebirds congregate in large numbers here. (110 km)

Day 8

Bird watching around Khuk and Yakhi lake, the lowest point of Mongolia at 560m above sea level. The lake is surrounded by low rolling hills. Overnight stay in tent next to nomad family. (160 km)

Day 9

On the way back to Chinggis city, the center of the Khentii province, we will stop in Choibalsan city, the biggest city of the eastern region to have lunch. Overnight stay at hotel. (430 km)

Day 10
Back to Ulaanbaatar city and do shopping in Gobi cashmere factory store and souvenir shop at State Department Store. (360 km) 
Day 11
Depart Mongolia. 
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