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Great Gobi Biosphere Reserve, Mongolia

The Great Gobi Biosphere Reserve is one of the largest Biosphere Reserves in the world. Located in the south-west of Mongolia at the border with the People’s Republic of China, it represents the Central Asian deserts. Fenced off from the sea by the surrounding mountains, the Great Gobi has a highly continental climate.

Designation date: 1990


Regional network:  SeaBRnet

Ecosystem-based network: 




    Surface : 5,300,000 ha

    • Core area(s): 985,000 ha
    • Buffer zone(s): 3,172,200 ha
    • Transition zone(s): 1,142,800 ha


    • 42°30' to 44°30'N; 95°30' to 99°10'E (Trans-Altai Gobi unit)
    • 44°50' to 45°40'N; 92°00' to 94°20'E (Dzungarian Gobi unit)

    Administrative Authorities

    Mr Ch.Bayarbat, Director
    Great Gobi BR
    PA Bayantooroi, Tsogt Soum, Gobi-Altai Aimag
    Gobi-Altai province

    Tel.: (976) 88763004

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    Ecological Characteristics

    The biosphere reserve covers altitudes from 850 to 2,695 meters above sea level and includes rare desert and mountain steppe vegetation. It provides habitat to many endangered species such as the Snow leopard (Uncia uncia), Siberian Ibex (Capra sibirica), wild Bactrian camel (Camelus batrianus ferus), Gobi bear (Ursus arctos gobiensis), Asiatic wild ass (Equus hemionus), Argali wild sheep (Ovis ammon), Goitered gazelle (Gazelle subgutturosa) and birds including the Houbara bustard (Chlamydoits undulata), Whooper swan (Cygnus cygnus), Ground Jay (Podoces hendersoni) and Lizard (Agama), Sand boa (Eryx tataricus) and the Bent toed gecko (Cyrtodactylus) .

    The Great Gobi was established as a national Strictly Protected Area in 1975 and included in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves in 1991 as one of the largest biosphere reserves in the world (5.3 million hectares). Especially for the wild camel, the BR is important, since it is one of three last locations, where this rare animal can be found.

    Socio-Economic Characteristics

    Due to the remoteness and large size of the reserve, it is hard to estimate population numbers or population trends. Estimates of the population of wild camels in the reserve range from about 350 to 1950 individuals. Twenty km from the reserve is the wild camel breeding center at Zakhyn Us, which was established in 2004. About 16000 people live in the biosphere reserve. The biosphere reserve aims to conserve soil and water resources, to assist in the maintenance of traditional ways of life and to increase local participation in the management of the biosphere reserve.




    Back to Biosphere Reserves in Mongolia
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    Back to World Network of Biosphere Reserves

    Last updated: April 2020