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Location Mongolia, Selenge
Central coordinates 106o 8.00' East  50o 12.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i
Area 26,800 ha
Altitude 594 - 894m
Year of IBA assessment 2009

Site description The delta of the Orkhon and Selenge Rivers is formed at the junction of the two largest rivers in Mongolia. The surrounding areas support wet grassland, steppe and mountain steppe. The Orkhon-Selenge region is the most important agricultural zone in Mongolia, and there is a lot of cultivation and human settlements along the river valleys. The most serious threat to biodiversity at the site is the discharge of waste, including heavy metals from nearby gold mines. A further concern is human settlement on islands in the rivers. Many fallow fields have been abandoned, which is resulting in the loss of top soil.

Key Biodiversity The site supports the following Globally Threatened bird species: Swan Goose Anser cygnoides (EN); Baikal Teal Anas formosa (VU); Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni (VU); and Great Bustard Otis tarda (VU). The site also supports at least 1% of the flyway populations of the following congregatory waterbirds: Bean Goose Anser fabalis; Greylag Goose A. anser; Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea; and Demoiselle Crane Anthropoides virgo.

Non-bird biodiversity: Nationally threatened mammal species, including Red Fox Vulpes vulpes, Corsac Fox V. corsac, Grey Wolf Canis lupus and Siberian Marmot Marmota sibirica (EN), are commonly seen at this site. Furthermore, nationally threatened fish species, such as Mongolian Grayling Thymallus revirostris, Lenok Brachymystax lenok and Taimen Hucho taimen, occur in the rivers.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Swan Goose Anser cygnoid breeding  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Bean Goose Anser fabalis 2004  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Greylag Goose Anser anser 2004  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea 2004  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Baikal Teal Sibirionetta formosa passage  2004  present  A1  Least Concern 
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni breeding  2004  present  A1  Least Concern 
Great Bustard Otis tarda breeding  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Demoiselle Crane Anthropoides virgo breeding  2004  present  A4i  Least Concern 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland)   -
Grassland   -

Protection status Unprotected

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Delta of Orkhon and Selenge Rivers. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife