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Location Mongolia, Khentii,Selenge,Tov
Central coordinates 108o 10.00' East  48o 48.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A3
Area 1,234,755 ha
Altitude 969 - 2,799m
Year of IBA assessment 2009

Site description This site, which is contiguous with Gorkhi- Terelj National Park (MN056), is an area of great natural beauty lying between the Daurian steppes and the Siberian taiga. Altitudinal variation at the site is significant, leading to the development of different habitats, including boreal forest (taiga), forest-steppe, steppe and tundra (on mountain peaks). The area is rich in rivers and streams, including tributaries of the Onon, Kherlen and Tuul Rivers. Many fine riparian forests are distributed along rivers, while deciduous and coniferous forests occupy large areas at high elevations. Over 30% of Mongolia's forest resources are found in the Khentii Mountains. The site has been held in high esteem by Mongolians for centuries. A state ceremony is held every year for Burkhan Khaldun Mountain, which has been a sacred site since the time of Chinggis Khan. Pine nut collection has become a major threat to biodiversity, because thousands of nut collectors damage large number of trees every year and are presumed to be the cause of forest fires. Every year, forest fires destroy many hectares of forest. Poaching for animals, including globally and nationally threatened species, is widespread. The impacts of mining and timber extraction are also of major concern.

Key Biodiversity The avifauna of the site is very species rich, due to its large area and the diversity of habitats present. Globally Threatened species include Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga (VU), Eastern Imperial Eagle A. heliaca (VU), Pallas’s Fish-eagle Haliaeetus leucoryphus (VU), Saker Falcon Falco cherrug (EN), Lesser Kestrel F. naumanni (VU), White-naped Crane Grus vipio (VU) and Yellowbreasted Bunting Emberiza aureola (VU). Cinereous Vulture Aegypius monachus (NT) also occurs. The site supports an assemblage of species restricted to the boreal forest (taiga) biome, including Black-billed Capercaillie Tetrao parvirostris, Ural Owl Strix uralensis, Northern Hawk Owl Surnia ulula, Eurasian Pygmy-owl Glaucidium passerinum and Rufous-tailed Robin Luscinia sibilans.

Non-bird biodiversity: Over 50 species of mammal, five reptiles, four amphibians and 30 fish have been recorded at the site, together with more than 200 insect species. The mammal list for the site includes Siberian Musk Deer Moschus moschiferus (VU), Wolverine Gulo gulo (NT), Eurasian Lynx Lynx lynx, Pallas’s Cat Felis manul (NT) and Eurasian Otter Lutra lutra (NT). The site also supports a number of species listed in the Red Data Book of Mongolia, such as European Elk Alces alces, Red Deer Cervus elaphus, Brown Bear Ursus arctos and Taimen Hucho taimen.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Black-billed Capercaillie Tetrao urogalloides 2009  present  A3  Least Concern 
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni 2009  present  A1  Least Concern 
Saker Falcon Falco cherrug 2009  present  A1  Endangered 
Pallas's Fish-eagle Haliaeetus leucoryphus 2009  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca 2009  present  A1, A3  Vulnerable 
Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga 2009  present  A1  Vulnerable 
White-naped Crane Antigone vipio 2009  present  A1, A3  Vulnerable 
Ural Owl Strix uralensis 2009  present  A3  Least Concern 
Northern Hawk-owl Surnia ulula 2009  present  A3  Least Concern 
Eurasian Pygmy-owl Glaucidium passerinum 2009  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rufous-tailed Robin Luscinia sibilans 2009  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-breasted Bunting Emberiza aureola 2009  present  A1, A3  Endangered 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Khan Khentee Strict Protected Area 1,227,074 is identical to site 1,227,074  

Protection status Fully protected by Khan Khentii Strictly Protected Area

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Khan Khentii Strictly Protected Area. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016

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