Wild sheep monitoring in Mongolia


Objective: To assist the government in developing a harvest quota for argali through the use of a reproducible monitoring program. Spring surveys were completed in 2012 & 2013 with a country-wide survey planned for this coming fall. Partners in this important work include: Grand Slam Ovis, Wild Sheep Foundation, the Mongolian Hunters Association and the Mongolian Ministry for Nature Environment and Tourism.

Photo courtesy of Dr. Michael Frisinia.
Photo courtesy of Dr. Michael Frisinia.

The SCI Foundation-sponsored research team compared the ages of hunter-harvested rams with the ages of rams found dead in the field of natural causes. This approach has provided insights into the influence of hunting on wild sheep age structure, and potential impacts to the natural dynamics of wild sheep populations in Mongolia.

The result from recent comparisons between hunter-harvested sheep and those that died of other causes has shown an older average age for hunted animals. This tells researchers that international sportsmen and women are removing rams that are mature (Avg. = 9.4 years) while rams succumbing to other causes are younger (Avg. = 8.7 years). The difference in average age was found to be statistically significant. Therefore, the evidence suggests that hunting is not impacting the wild sheep age distribution in the Mongolian study areas.

A report on this project was recently published in the peer-reviewed journal of the Bombay Natural History Society and can be read in full by clicking – Frisina2012.

More information about our conservation initiatives in Asia may be found on our website – http://www.safariclubfoundation.org/conservation/asia.


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