Saturday, November 25, 2006

GPS & Photography

Digital photos can come with auxiliary information embedded in the photo file: the camera make and model the time when the photo was shot, the aperture settings, and so forth. This auxiliary information is called metadata. Although most people care about a photo's pixels, rather than its metadata, metadata can provide good cues for organizing, browsing, and finding your photos, and more importantly, it can aid in telling your story. There are two pieces of metadata that provide the context of a photo: when and where. Knowing that a photo was taken during your last trip, for example, or that a photo was taken at Disneyland, says a lot about the photo even before you see a single pixel. Date & time are easy to acquire - almost all digital cameras have an internal clock, and every photograph you snap is stamped with the date and time without any extra effort on your part. Geographic location is harder to come by. There are a handful of high-end cameras on the market that can connect to a GPS device and which automatically enter location information into the photo file. For those of us who don't own such a camera, there are two methods for attaching this valuable location information to the photograph, both of which require special software.

  • Manually drag and drop photos onto a map once the photo is on your computer.
  • An external GPS device can be used to keep track of the camera location and the data can be synchronized later using specialized software.

Once your photos are time-stamped and location-stamped, software allows you to take advantage of this information in a variety of ways.

  • The GPS information in the Digital Photos could be used by tools like Google Earth to zoom in to the location based on the coordinates.
  • For biologists, it can be a tool to track and monitor endangered plants and animals, though hopefully not to document their extinction. The photo represents information on where to look, and what to look for, in searching for what has become of a unique moment.
  • There are other major advantages in having GPS information encoded in the EXIF data of a photograph. For a photographer trying to organize a vast collection of images, it would be of immense help.
  • Part of the point in knowing the exact time and place is to make an indisputable photographic record of that unique moment. For example, you might document year after year the same patch of wildflowers. The photos would provide a record of their exact location, to assist in relocating them for future photo shoots. They would also be a valuable tool in biological study of the changing dynamics of a local flower population.
  • Information on exact GPS coordinates also allows photographers to categorize places of interest, sorting all images automatically that meet these criteria.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Bird checklist of Mongolia


  • Arctic Loon Gavia arctica


  • Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus
  • Horned Grebe Podiceps auritus
  • Eared Grebe Podiceps nigricollis


  • Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus

PELECANIFORMES: Phalacrocoracidae

  • Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo


  • Gray Heron Ardea cinerea
  • Great Egret Ardea alba
  • Chinese Pond-Heron Ardeola bacchus
  • Little Bittern Ixobrychus minutus
  • Great Bittern Botaurus stellaris


  • Black Stork Ciconia nigra
  • Oriental Stork Ciconia boyciana

CICONIIFORMES: Threskiornithidae

  • Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus
  • Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia


  • Mute Swan Cygnus olor
  • Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus
  • Tundra Swan Cygnus columbianus
  • Swan Goose Anser cygnoides
  • Bean Goose Anser fabalis
  • Greylag Goose Anser anser
  • Bar-headed Goose Anser indicus
  • Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea
  • Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna
  • Mandarin Duck Aix galericulata
  • Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope
  • Falcated Duck Anas falcata
  • Gadwall Anas strepera
  • Baikal Teal Anas formosa
  • Eurasian Teal Anas crecca
  • Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
  • Spot-billed Duck Anas poecilorhyncha
  • Northern Pintail Anas acuta
  • Garganey Anas querquedula
  • Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata
  • Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina
  • Common Pochard Aythya ferina
  • Ferruginous Pochard Aythya nyroca
  • Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula
  • Greater Scaup Aythya marila
  • Harlequin Duck Histrionicus histrionicus
  • White-winged Scoter Melanitta fusca
  • Common Goldeneye Bucephala clangula
  • Smew Mergellus albellus
  • Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator
  • Common Merganser Mergus merganser
  • White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala


  • Osprey Pandion haliaetus


  • European Honey-buzzard Pernis apivorus
  • Oriental Honey-buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus
  • Black Kite Milvus migrans
  • Pallas's Fish-Eagle Haliaeetus leucoryphus
  • White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla
  • Lammergeier Gypaetus barbatus
  • Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus
  • Himalayan Griffon Gyps himalayensis
  • Eurasian Griffon Gyps fulvus
  • Cinereous Vulture Aegypius monachus
  • Short-toed Eagle Circaetus gallicus
  • Western Marsh-Harrier Circus aeruginosus
  • Eastern Marsh-Harrier Circus spilonotus
  • Northern Harrier Circus cyaneus
  • Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus
  • Pied Harrier Circus melanoleucos
  • Montagu's Harrier Circus pygargus
  • Shikra Accipiter badius
  • Japanese Sparrowhawk Accipiter gularis
  • Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus
  • Northern Goshawk Accipiter gentilis
  • Eurasian Buzzard Buteo buteo
  • Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus
  • Upland Buzzard Buteo hemilasius
  • Rough-legged Hawk Buteo lagopus
  • Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga
  • Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis
  • Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca
  • Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos
  • Booted Eagle Aquila pennatus


  • Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni
  • Eurasian Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
  • Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus
  • Amur Falcon Falco amurensis
  • Merlin Falco columbarius
  • Eurasian Hobby Falco subbuteo
  • Saker Falcon Falco cherrug
  • Barbary Falcon Falco pelegrinoides
  • Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus

GALLIFORMES: Tetraonidae

  • Willow Ptarmigan Lagopus lagopus
  • Rock Ptarmigan Lagopus muta
  • Black-billed Capercaillie Tetrao parvirostris
  • Eurasian Capercaillie Tetrao urogallus
  • Black Grouse Tetrao tetrix
  • Hazel Grouse Bonasa bonasia

GALLIFORMES: Phasianidae

  • Altai Snowcock Tetraogallus altaicus
  • Chukar Alectoris chukar
  • Gray Partridge Perdix perdix
  • Daurian Partridge Perdix dauurica
  • Japanese Quail Coturnix japonica
  • Common Quail Coturnix coturnix
  • Koklass Pheasant Pucrasia macrolopha
  • Brown Eared-Pheasant Crossoptilon mantchuricum
  • Blue Eared-Pheasant Crossoptilon auritum
  • Reeves's Pheasant Syrmaticus reevesii
  • Ring-necked Pheasant Phasianus colchicus


  • Demoiselle Crane Anthropoides virgo
  • Siberian Crane Grus leucogeranus
  • White-naped Crane Grus vipio
  • Common Crane Grus grus
  • Hooded Crane Grus monacha
  • Red-crowned Crane Grus japonensis


  • Swinhoe's Rail Coturnicops exquisitus
  • Water Rail Rallus aquaticus
  • Corn Crake Crex crex
  • Baillon's Crake Porzana pusilla
  • Spotted Crake Porzana porzana
  • Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
  • Eurasian Coot Fulica atra


  • Great Bustard Otis tarda
  • Houbara Bustard Chlamydotis undulata
  • Macqueen's Bustard Chlamydotis macqueenii
  • Little Bustard Tetrax tetrax


  • Greater Painted-snipe Rostratula benghalensis

CHARADRIIFORMES: Ibidorhynchidae

  • Ibisbill Ibidorhyncha struthersii

CHARADRIIFORMES: Recurvirostridae

  • Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus
  • Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta


  • Oriental Pratincole Glareola maldivarum


  • Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus
  • Gray-headed Lapwing Vanellus cinereus
  • Pacific Golden-Plover Pluvialis fulva
  • American Golden-Plover Pluvialis dominica
  • European Golden-Plover Pluvialis apricaria
  • Black-bellied Plover Pluvialis squatarola
  • Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula
  • Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius
  • Snowy Plover Charadrius alexandrinus
  • Lesser Sandplover Charadrius mongolus
  • Greater Sandplover Charadrius leschenaultii
  • Oriental Plover Charadrius veredus
  • Eurasian Dotterel Charadrius morinellus


  • Eurasian Woodcock Scolopax rusticola
  • Jack Snipe Lymnocryptes minimus
  • Solitary Snipe Gallinago solitaria
  • Pintail Snipe Gallinago stenura
  • Swinhoe's Snipe Gallinago megala
  • Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago
  • Asian Dowitcher Limnodromus semipalmatus
  • Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa
  • Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica
  • Little Curlew Numenius minutus
  • Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata
  • Far Eastern Curlew Numenius madagascariensis
  • Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus
  • Common Redshank Tringa totanus
  • Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis
  • Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia
  • Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus
  • Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola
  • Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus
  • Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
  • Gray-tailed Tattler Heterosceles brevipes
  • Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres
  • Red Knot Calidris canutus
  • Sanderling Calidris alba
  • Red-necked Stint Calidris ruficollis
  • Little Stint Calidris minuta
  • Temminck's Stint Calidris temminckii
  • Long-toed Stint Calidris subminuta
  • Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Calidris acuminata
  • Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea
  • Dunlin Calidris alpina
  • Broad-billed Sandpiper Limicola falcinellus
  • Ruff Philomachus pugnax
  • Red-necked Phalarope Phalaropus lobatus


  • Mew Gull Larus canus
  • Glaucous Gull Larus hyperboreus
  • Herring Gull Larus argentatus
  • East Siberian Gull Larus vegae
  • Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans
  • Great Black-headed Gull Larus ichthyaetus
  • Brown-headed Gull Larus brunnicephalus
  • Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus
  • Saunders's Gull Larus saundersi
  • Relict Gull Larus relictus
  • Little Gull Larus minutus
  • Black-legged Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla


  • Gull-billed Tern Sterna nilotica
  • Caspian Tern Sterna caspia
  • Common Tern Sterna hirundo
  • Little Tern Sterna albifrons
  • Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybridus
  • White-winged Tern Chlidonias leucopterus
  • Black Tern Chlidonias niger


  • Pallas's Sandgrouse Syrrhaptes paradoxus


  • Rock Pigeon Columba livia
  • Hill Pigeon Columba rupestris
  • Pale-backed Pigeon Columba eversmanni
  • Common Wood-Pigeon Columba palumbus
  • Eurasian Turtle-Dove Streptopelia turtur
  • Oriental Turtle-Dove Streptopelia orientalis
  • Eurasian Collared-Dove Streptopelia decaocto
  • Red Collared-Dove Streptopelia tranquebarica


  • Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus
  • Horsfield's Cuckoo Cuculus horsfieldi


  • European Scops-Owl Otus scops
  • Oriental Scops-Owl Otus sunia
  • Eurasian Eagle-Owl Bubo bubo
  • Snowy Owl Bubo scandiacus
  • Ural Owl Strix uralensis
  • Great Gray Owl Strix nebulosa
  • Northern Hawk Owl Surnia ulula
  • Eurasian Pygmy-Owl Glaucidium passerinum
  • Little Owl Athene noctua
  • Boreal Owl Aegolius funereus
  • Long-eared Owl Asio otus
  • Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus


  • Gray Nightjar Caprimulgus indicus
  • Eurasian Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus


  • White-throated Needletail Hirundapus caudacutus
  • Common Swift Apus apus
  • Fork-tailed Swift Apus pacificus


  • Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis
  • Black-capped Kingfisher Halcyon pileata


  • European Roller Coracias garrulus


  • Hoopoe Upupa epops


  • Eurasian Wryneck Jynx torquilla
  • Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos minor
  • White-backed Woodpecker Dendrocopos leucotos
  • Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major
  • Eurasian Three-toed Woodpecker Picoides tridactylus
  • Black Woodpecker Dryocopus martius
  • Gray-faced Woodpecker Picus canus


  • Calandra Lark Melanocorypha calandra
  • Mongolian Lark Melanocorypha mongolica
  • White-winged Lark Melanocorypha leucoptera
  • Black Lark Melanocorypha yeltoniensis
  • Greater Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla
  • Lesser Short-toed Lark Calandrella rufescens
  • Crested Lark Galerida cristata
  • Eurasian Skylark Alauda arvensis
  • Horned Lark Eremophila alpestris


  • Bank Swallow Riparia riparia
  • Eurasian Crag-Martin Ptyonoprogne rupestris
  • Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
  • Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica
  • Common House-Martin Delichon urbica


  • White Wagtail Motacilla alba
  • Black-backed Wagtail Motacilla lugens
  • Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola
  • Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava
  • Gray Wagtail Motacilla cinerea
  • Oriental Pipit Anthus rufulus
  • Richard's Pipit Anthus richardi
  • Tawny Pipit Anthus campestris
  • Blyth's Pipit Anthus godlewskii
  • Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis
  • Olive-backed Pipit Anthus hodgsoni
  • Pechora Pipit Anthus gustavi
  • Red-throated Pipit Anthus cervinus
  • Water Pipit Anthus spinoletta
  • American Pipit Anthus rubescens


  • Goldcrest Regulus regulus

PASSERIFORMES: Bombycillidae

  • Bohemian Waxwing Bombycilla garrulus


  • White-throated Dipper Cinclus cinclus

PASSERIFORMES: Troglodytidae

  • Winter Wren Troglodytes troglodytes


  • Alpine Accentor Prunella collaris
  • Himalayan Accentor Prunella himalayana
  • Siberian Accentor Prunella montanella
  • Brown Accentor Prunella fulvescens
  • Black-throated Accentor Prunella atrogularis
  • Mongolian Accentor Prunella koslowi


  • Rufous-tailed Rock-Thrush Monticola saxatilis
  • Siberian Thrush Zoothera sibirica
  • Scaly Thrush Zoothera dauma
  • Eyebrowed Thrush Turdus obscurus
  • Dark-throated Thrush Turdus ruficollis
  • Dusky Thrush Turdus naumanni
  • Fieldfare Turdus pilaris
  • Redwing Turdus iliacus
  • Song Thrush Turdus philomelos
  • Mistle Thrush Turdus viscivorus


  • Spotted Bush-Warbler Bradypterus thoracicus
  • Chinese Bush-Warbler Bradypterus tacsanowskius
  • Lanceolated Warbler Locustella lanceolata
  • Grasshopper Warbler Locustella naevia
  • Pallas's Warbler Locustella certhiola
  • Savi's Warbler Locustella luscinioides
  • Gray's Warbler Locustella fasciolata
  • Black-browed Reed-Warbler Acrocephalus bistrigiceps
  • Paddyfield Warbler Acrocephalus agricola
  • Blyth's Reed-Warbler Acrocephalus dumetorum
  • Great Reed-Warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus
  • Oriental Reed-Warbler Acrocephalus orientalis
  • Clamorous Reed-Warbler Acrocephalus stentoreus
  • Thick-billed Warbler Acrocephalus aedon
  • Booted Warbler Hippolais caligata
  • Sykes's Warbler Hippolais rama
  • Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita
  • Mountain Chiffchaff Phylloscopus sindianus
  • Dusky Warbler Phylloscopus fuscatus
  • Sulphur-bellied Warbler Phylloscopus griseolus
  • Radde's Warbler Phylloscopus schwarzi
  • Lemon-rumped Warbler Phylloscopus proregulus
  • Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus
  • Hume's Warbler Phylloscopus humei
  • Arctic Warbler Phylloscopus borealis
  • Greenish Warbler Phylloscopus trochiloides
  • Pale-legged Leaf-Warbler Phylloscopus tenellipes
  • Marsh Grassbird Megalurus pryeri
  • Fly River Grassbird Megalurus albolimbatus
  • Greater Whitethroat Sylvia communis
  • Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca
  • Small Whitethroat Sylvia minula
  • Asian Desert Warbler Sylvia nana
  • Barred Warbler Sylvia nisoria


  • Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata
  • Siberian Flycatcher Muscicapa sibirica
  • Asian Brown Flycatcher Muscicapa dauurica
  • Korean Flycatcher Ficedula zanthopygia
  • Mugimaki Flycatcher Ficedula mugimaki
  • Taiga Flycatcher Ficedula albicilla
  • Rufous-tailed Robin Luscinia sibilans
  • Common Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos
  • Siberian Rubythroat Luscinia calliope
  • Bluethroat Luscinia svecica
  • Siberian Blue Robin Luscinia cyane
  • Red-flanked Bluetail Tarsiger cyanurus
  • Rufous-backed Redstart Phoenicurus erythronota
  • Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros
  • Common Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus
  • Daurian Redstart Phoenicurus auroreus
  • White-winged Redstart Phoenicurus erythrogaster
  • Siberian Stonechat Saxicola maura
  • Whinchat Saxicola rubetra
  • White-throated Bushchat Saxicola insignis
  • Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe
  • Pied Wheatear Oenanthe pleschanka
  • Desert Wheatear Oenanthe deserti
  • Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina


  • Pere David's Laughingthrush Garrulax davidi

PASSERIFORMES: Paradoxornithidae

  • Bearded Reedling Panurus biarmicus
  • Vinous-throated Parrotbill Paradoxornis webbianus
  • Reed Parrotbill Paradoxornis heudei


  • Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus


  • Marsh Tit Poecile palustris
  • Willow Tit Poecile montana
  • Gray-headed Chickadee Poecile cincta
  • Coal Tit Periparus ater
  • Great Tit Parus major
  • Turkestan Tit Parus bokharensis
  • Azure Tit Cyanistes cyanus


  • Eurasian Nuthatch Sitta europaea

PASSERIFORMES: Tichodromidae

  • Wallcreeper Tichodroma muraria


  • Eurasian Treecreeper Certhia familiaris


  • White-crowned Penduline-Tit Remiz coronatus
  • Chinese Penduline-Tit Remiz consobrinus


  • Eurasian Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus


  • Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio
  • Rufous-tailed Shrike Lanius isabellinus
  • Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus
  • Northern Shrike Lanius excubitor
  • Chinese Gray Shrike Lanius sphenocercus


  • Siberian Jay Perisoreus infaustus
  • Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius
  • Azure-winged Magpie Cyanopica cyana
  • Eurasian Magpie Pica pica
  • Mongolian Ground-Jay Podoces hendersoni
  • Eurasian Nutcracker Nucifraga caryocatactes
  • Red-billed Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax
  • Eurasian Jackdaw Corvus monedula
  • Daurian Jackdaw Corvus dauuricus
  • Rook Corvus frugilegus
  • Carrion Crow Corvus corone
  • Common Raven Corvus corax


  • Daurian Starling Sturnia sturnina
  • Rosy Starling Pastor roseus
  • White-cheeked Starling Sturnus cineraceus
  • European Starling Sturnus vulgaris


  • Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella
  • Pine Bunting Emberiza leucocephalos
  • Rock Bunting Emberiza cia
  • Godlewski's Bunting Emberiza godlewskii
  • Meadow Bunting Emberiza cioides
  • Gray-hooded Bunting Emberiza buchanani
  • Ortolan Bunting Emberiza hortulana
  • Chestnut-eared Bunting Emberiza fucata
  • Little Bunting Emberiza pusilla
  • Yellow-browed Bunting Emberiza chrysophrys
  • Rustic Bunting Emberiza rustica
  • Yellow-breasted Bunting Emberiza aureola
  • Chestnut Bunting Emberiza rutila
  • Red-headed Bunting Emberiza bruniceps
  • Black-faced Bunting Emberiza spodocephala
  • Pallas's Bunting Emberiza pallasi
  • Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniclus
  • Lapland Longspur Calcarius lapponicus
  • Snow Bunting Plectrophenax nivalis


  • Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs
  • Brambling Fringilla montifringilla
  • Plain Mountain-Finch Leucosticte nemoricola
  • Black-headed Mountain-Finch Leucosticte brandti
  • Asian Rosy-Finch Leucosticte arctoa
  • Pine Grosbeak Pinicola enucleator
  • Common Rosefinch Carpodacus erythrinus
  • Beautiful Rosefinch Carpodacus pulcherrimus
  • Pallas's Rosefinch Carpodacus roseus
  • Red-mantled Rosefinch Carpodacus rhodochlamys
  • Great Rosefinch Carpodacus rubicilla
  • Red Crossbill Loxia curvirostra
  • White-winged Crossbill Loxia leucoptera
  • Common Redpoll Carduelis flammea
  • Hoary Redpoll Carduelis hornemanni
  • Eurasian Siskin Carduelis spinus
  • European Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis
  • Oriental Greenfinch Carduelis sinica
  • Twite Carduelis flavirostris
  • Eurasian Linnet Carduelis cannabina
  • Eurasian Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula
  • Hawfinch Coccothraustes coccothraustes
  • Yellow-billed Grosbeak Eophona migratoria
  • Mongolian Finch Rhodopechys mongolica
  • Desert Finch Rhodospiza obsoleta
  • Long-tailed Rosefinch Uragus sibiricus


  • Saxaul Sparrow Passer ammodendri
  • House Sparrow Passer domesticus
  • Eurasian Tree Sparrow Passer montanus
  • Rock Petronia Petronia petronia
  • White-winged Snowfinch Montifringilla nivalis
  • Pere David's Snowfinch Montifringilla davidiana

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Things to photograph in Mongolia

  • Over 450 species of birds
  • 138 species of mammals
  • 12500 species of insects
  • 74 species of fish
  • 20 reptiles
  • 2823 species of high vascular plants
  • 920 species of lichen
  • 417 species of moss
  • 520 species of fungus
  • 728 species of algae
  • 33 gobi desert
  • over 20 peaks with eternal snow
  • 4000 rivers
  • 400 springs
  • 16 large lakes and many small lakes
  • 50 protected areas
  • 700 monasteries and/or ruins of monasteries
  • 21 aimags
  • 73 monuments in Ulaanbaatar
  • Many historical and cultural monuments
  • Many everyday life situations
  • Beautiful sunsets and sunrises
  • Stars and moon
  • Blue sky
  • and more

Saturday, November 18, 2006

World heritage in Mongolia

Uvs Nuur Basin

Uvs Nuur Lake is the largest lake in Mongolia, which, at 753 m above sea level, covers an area of 3,350 km². Its northeastern part is situated in the Tuva Republic of the Russian Federation. The largest settlement on the shore is Ulaangom. This shallow and very saline body of water is the only remainder of a huge saline sea which covered a much larger area several thousand years ago.

The Uvs Nuur Lake is the centre of the Uvs Nuur Basin, which covers an area of 700,000 km² and represents one of the best-preserved natural steppe landscapes of Eurasia. Apart from the Uvs Nuur, the basin comprises several smaller lakes, notably the Ureg Nuur Lake, which lies at 1,450 m above sea level. As these lakes lie to the north of other inland seas of Central Asia, they are of key importance for waterfowl migration.

Since the basin spans the geoclimatic boundary between Siberia and Central Asia, temperatures may vary from −58°C in winter to 47°C in summer. Despite its harsh climate, the basin is home to 173 bird species and 41 mammal species, including the globally endangered snow leopard, argali, and Asiatic ibex.

Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape

The Orkhon Valley encompasses 121.967 hectares, and can be found in Central-Mongolia. It also includes Kharkhorum, the 13th and 14th century capital of Chinggis (Genghis) Khan’s vast Empire.The inclusion of this site is a tribute to Mongolia’s nomadic culture, that even now persists. Further, it illustrates several significant stages in human history. First and foremost it was the centre of the Mongolian Empire; secondly it reflects a particular Mongolian variation of Turkish power; thirdly, the Tuvkhun hermitage monastery was the setting for the development of a Mongolian form of Buddhism; and fourthly, Khar Balgas, reflects the Uighur urban culture in the capital of the Uighur Empire.

Ramsar site lists of Mongolia

Hovd aimag

  • Ayrag Nuur (48º53’N 093º25’E)
  • Har Us Nuur National Park (47º58’N 092º50’E)

Bayan-Ulgii, Uvs aimag

  • Lake Achit and its surrounding wetlands (49°40’N 090°35’E)

Uvs aimag

  • Lake Uvs and its surrounding wetlands (50°20’N 092°45’E)

Dornod aimag

  • Lake Buir and its surrounding wetlands (47°48’N 117°40’E)
  • Mongol Daguur (49º42’N 115º06’E)

Sukhbaatar aimag

  • Lake Ganga and its surrounding wetlands (45°15’N 114°00’E)

Khentii aimag

  • Lakes in the Khurkh-Khuiten Valley (48°18’N 110°34’E)

Arkhangai aimag

  • Ogii Nuur (47º46’N 102º46’E)
  • Terhiyn Tsagaan Nuur (48º10’N 099º43’E)

Bayankhongor aimag

  • Valley of Lakes (Boon Tsagaan Nuur, Taatsiin Tsagaan Nuur, Adgiin Tasgaan Nuur, Orog Nuur) (45º19’N 099º58’E)

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Important Bird Areas In Mongolia

Bayan-Ulgii aimag

  • Khoton Nuur and Khorgon Nuur at Altai Tavan Bogd National Park
  • Dayan Nuur at Altai Tavan Bogd
  • Tolbo Nuur
  • Achit Nuur

Uvs aimag

Khovd aimag

Zavhan aimag

Gobi-Altai aimag

  • Small lakes near Chamdmani Tolgoi, Jargalant soum

Bayanhongor aimag

  • Boon Tsagaan Nuur
  • Orog Nuur
  • Taatsiin Tsagaan Nuur

Uvurkhangai aimag

  • Ulziitiin Sangiin Dalai Nuur

Huvsgul aimag

  • Darkhad basin
  • Khovsgol Nuur
  • Erkhel Nuur
  • Khovsgoliin Sangiin Dalai Nuur

Arkhangai aimag

Bulgan aimag

  • Teshigiin Olon Nuur
  • Airkhan Nuur
  • Dashinchilen Bayan Nuur

Selenge aimag

  • Selengiin Tsagaan Nuur
  • Confluence of Orkhon and Selenge rivers

Khentii aimag

  • Valley of Khurkh-Khutien
  • Onon-Balj

Dornod aimag

  • Tsengeleg Nuur
  • Mongol Daguur
  • Khukh Nuur
  • Buir Nuur
  • Tashgain Tavan Nuur

Sukhbaatar aimag

  • Ganga Nuur

Dornogovi aimag

  • Ikh Nartiin Chuluu Nature Reserve

Mongolian Photo

Mammals of Mongolia

Mongolia wild mammals have unique species composition, distribution and origin. In Mongolia exist 138 species mammals belonging to 73 genera, 22 families and 8 orders; which is 13 insectivores; 12 chiropters; 6 lagomorphs; 69 rodents; 24 carnivores; 2 perissodactyls; 1 tylopods; and 11 artiodactyls. There are 32 species of rare, very rare and endemic species of Central Asia and Mongolia. There are several mammalian whose population sizes and ranges have become smaller due to either the direct or indirect impact of human activities and the environmental and climate change. The Mongolian Red Book, published in 1997, has 2 categories of endangered species, rare and very rare and it includes 30 species and sub-species of mammals. Mongolian Photo

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Gurvansaikhan National Park

Photos of Mongolia

Click here more Gurvansaikhan photos

Gobi Gurvansaikhan park encompasses the series of ridges and valleys that make up the eastern end of the Gobi Altai mountains. Surrounded by low plains, the mountains rise to 2200-2600 meters, and include the Gurvan saikhan (three adjacent ridges named Zuun (East), Dund (Middle), and Baruun (West) saikhan), Zoolon, Sevrei, Gilbent, and Nemegt ridges. Some of the peaks are volcanic in origin.

click here more Sand dune photos The park, which extends for more than 380 kilometers from east to west, lies at the northern edge of the Gobi desert but includes desert steppe and steppe at higher elevations. The park's landscape is extremely varied, with rocky and sandy desert plains, precipitous cliffs and ravines, salt pans, and oases. Gurvansaikhan includes the highest diversity of plant life in the Gobi Altai, with over 620 species of flowering plants. Most are characteristic of Central Asian deserts, including 38 endemic species. During years with adequate precipitation, desert plants produce vibrant summer displays of desert flowers.

click here more Zulganai photos Fifty-two species of mammals are found here, including eight species listed in the Mongolian Red Book as endangered. Small herds of wild ass and black-tailed and Mongolian gazelle roam the desert valleys and desert steppe, while the mountains provide suitable habitat for threatened and endangered animals such as argali, Siberian ibex, and snow leopard. Long-eared hedgehogs and dwarf hamsters inhabit sandy areas. Over 240 bird species occur in the area, including 34 resident species, 99 breeding species, and 70 migrants. Local herders seasonally graze livestock in parts of the park, which features some popular tourist destinations, including the Valley of Yol, a picturesque gorge, and the Singing Sands, a spectacular sea of sand dunes bordered by red sandstone formations, an oasis, and a saxaul forest. The Nemegt, Khermiin Tsav, Naran daats, and Bayanzag mountains, the sites of numerous important dinosaur fossil discoveries, also lie within the park.

Mongolian Photo

Birds of Mongolia

Mongolia known as a landlocked country remote from the sea is however prominent for its extremely diversified landscape. Mountain ranges, small and bigger lakes, and rivers, semi-desert Gobi area, forest steppes ar all home to many species of birds. In Mongolia have been recorded over 450 different species of birds belonging to 200 genera, 60 families of 19 orders registered. Mongolia has 81 species which live permanently, 245 species egg in our country, 9 species pass the summer, 60 species of birds occasionally occur in Mongolia and 10 species birds arrive here to pass winter. In Mongolia are registered 30 rare and very rare birds. The species registered in the Red Book of Mongolia are: Pelecanus crispus - Dalmation Pelican, Egretta alba - Great White Egret, Platalea leucorodia - Eurasian or White Spoonbill, Ciconia nigra - Black Stork, Cygnus olor - Mute Swan, Cygnus cygnus - Whooper Swan, Eulabeia indica - Bar-headed Goose, Cygnopsis cygnoides - Swan Goose, Anas formosa - Baikal Teal, Aythya baeri - Baer's Pochard, Aix galericulata - Mandarin Duck, Oxyura leucocephala - White-headed Duck, Pandion haliaetus - Osprey, Haliaeetus albicilla - White tailed Eagle, Gyps himalayensis - Himalayan Griffon, Tetraogallus altaicus - Altai Snowcock, Phasianus colchicus - Ring-necked Pheasant, Grus monacha - Hooded Crane, Grus vipio - Japanese White-naped Crane, Grus leucogeranus - Sibirian White Crane, Otis tarda - Great Bustard, Chlamydotis undulata - Houbara Bustard, Limnodromus semipalmatus - Asiatic Dowitcher, Larus ichthyaetus - Great Black-headed Gull, Larus relictus - Relict Gull, Saxicola insignus - Hodgsan's Bushchat, Paradoxornix heudei - Chinese or Reed Parrotbill, Remizpendulinus - Eurasian Penduline Tit, Podoces hendersoni - Henderson's Ground-jay. The species registered in the The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species are: Bunting

Bushchat Bustard Corncrake Crane Dowitcher Duck Eagle














Mongolian Photo

Monday, November 06, 2006

How to photograph birds

Bird photographs are difficult to take. They move around in only a few seconds.

  • Get close enough to the bird
  • Use the longest lens you have
  • Use a teleconverter to extend the focal length
  • Try placing your prefocused camera on a ledge nearby where you expect the birds to come. Focus it, adjust the settings then leave it there. Watch from a far. When you think you have the perfect photo, use a remote control to trigger the shutter.
  • Combine a scope with your digital camera
  • Try to use a tripod to get sharper photos. If you're without a tripod, try resting the camera on a stable object.
  • Use Fast Shutter Speeds
  • Use Continous shooting mode
  • Please follow Code of Birding Ethics

Mongolian Photo

Friday, November 03, 2006

Baga gazar


The Baga Gazar mountain is a huge granite massive. Small hills with a rounded top are dominant. They are separated by small valleys without water flow. In this area weathering and erosion are intensive.

Argali and Sibirian ibex are found in this place.

GPS coordinate is 46°23'18.47"N, 105°39'3.23"E

Sum huh burd


Sum huh burd is situated on the territory of Adaatsag soum in Dundgovi aimag.

There is a monastry, build by Mongolians on the small island of lake Burd. It is said that khutagt Danzanravjaa put his famous play "Saran khuhhuu" in this monastry.

Swan, duck and Partridge are common on the lake. South of the lake "Burd" is the spring Uudiin bulag, famous for its water's curative properties.

GPS coordinate is 46°23'36.13"N, 105°35'24.01"E

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Zorgol khairkhan

This is a sacred mountain, found in the area of Bayan Unjuul soum of Tov aimag/province, about 150 km from Ulaanbaatar. The peak is 1686 m ASL. Zorgol Khairkhan Mountain is venerated and revered by the local people, who believe that it is the siege of a great, benevolent spirit. Many lines and stanzas were dedicated to this mountain in the famous poems of the modern poet B.Lkhagvasuren. The huge, red granite mountain does indeed have a diverse and beautiful nature to offer. It has many caves and water springs. Lucky visitors may see wild animals like mountain goats, ibex and eagles (at their nests). There are several burial sites of ancient Mongol soldiers around this mountain. According to shamanic custom, pronouncing the name of the holy mountains while visiting them is forbidden.

The mountain is composed of granite rock, being in the Granite belt of Mongolia.The mountain was mentioned as Zorgol Khan in the 'Secret History of Mongols'.

Mongolians have an ancient tradition of protecting and preserving the beautiful nature and landscape. The ancient legal manuscript called Khalkh Juram ordered the protection and preservation of fourteen mountains, including Bogd khaan, Khan-Khentii, Khugnu-Khaan and Zorgol-Khairkhan Mountains.