Research paper selected as "Editor's Choice"
Our team's article on the migratory routes of Mongolian Great Bustards was recognized for outstanding merit by the editor of the Journal of Avian Biology. Download it
, or contact us for a copy, to learn more about the migratory routes of Nergui, Ulaana and Songuul'!
Master's student carries out second field season
Thanks to your support of our RocketHub campaign
, our team's second master's student G. Natsag has traveled to the field to undertake research on bustard breeding behavior for his master's thesis. RocketHub funds are also being used to support genetic research and satellite transmission of data from Great Bustards harnessed with GPS units.
Nergui, Sachokchin, and Mendee Safely home!
We've been monitoring the movements of our tagged bustards with baited breath as they've migrated 2000 km (1200 miles) homeward from their wintering grounds in China. As we've posted before
, we are finding that mortality on the migratory route - due in large part to hunting - is a problem for these populations of Great Bustard. We are happy to report that this spring our tagged birds have all arrived safely home to northern Mongolia, where we wish them success in nesting and raising chicks this summer!
Participation in Great Bustard Conservation Meeting
A. Kessler presented our group's findings on the conservation status and threats to Central Asian populations of Great Bustard at the recent scientific and diplomatic meeting on Conservation and Management of Middle-European Populations of Great Bustards.
The group agreed to propose stronger protection across the range of the Great Bustard at the upcoming Convention on Migratory Species Conference of the Parties.
Research published in Journal of Avian Biology
Our team's satellite telemetry research
has revealed that Mongolian Great Bustards make long-distance migrations, twice as far as has been identified in any other population of Great Bustard. We are happy to announce the publication of that finding in the scientific journal, Journal of Avian Biology
. Contact us
if you are interested in obtaining a copy of the publication.
Nergui Begins Spring Migration
Our team's longest-tagged bustard, Nergui
, has begun her northward, spring migration from her wintering grounds in Shaanxi Province, China!
Баярлалаа найзуудаа! (Thank you, Friends!)
Our team is grateful for the incredible generosity shown by our supporters during our recent RocketHub fundraising appeal
! With your help, we've raised funds to (1) support our Mongolian master's student's tuition; (2) pay for six additional months of satellite data transmission fees from our tagged bustards, and (3) continue conservation genetic research!
If you missed the RocketHub campaign, you still have a chance to participate (and adopt a bustard!) by donating via our PayPal link
. We will continue to honor rewards levels outlined on the RocketHub page, so that you can receive mementos of the project! Every contribution, big or small, makes an impact for our team!
Campaign Video Online!
Be sure to check out our video, "Mongolian Myth Bustards!"
by collaborator V. Cox
to see footage of these incredible birds, the beautiful Mongolian countryside, and to virtually "meet" our team!
Awards Have been Shipped!
A note to donors from our recent fundraiser - we have shipped all thank you gifts as of early March. If you haven't received your reward,
Share Your photographs and Observations!
Have you observed Great Bustards while working or vacationing in Asia? Your sightings and photographs can help to improve our understanding of populations of Great Bustards in these areas.
and let us know about your sighting!
has arrived at her wintering site in Shaanxi Province of China, after a journey lasting less than a week! Through our satellite tracking program
, we have found that this journey is usually accomplished over a two-month timeframe, with multiple stopovers. Mendee, in the meantime, is on stopover at the Bayanur Oasis in Inner Mongolia, China.
Fall Migration Begins
is the first of the bustards we monitor
to make a southward movement this fall - she's moved about 100 km southeast from her main breeding valley.
Spreading News of Bustards
We've continued to spread news about our research findings through academic presentations at the Human Dimensions of Fish and Wildlife Management
and Society for Conservation Biology
meetings as well as presentations for public groups including Audubon and P.E.O.
Listen to audio from SCB here.
Public outrage over poaching of migratory birds
Last April, we reported our finding that one of our tracked bustards, Songuul', had been poisoned as part of the trade in illegal wild meats in China. We are happy to learn that the issue of poaching of migratory birds in China, which affects many species, is receiving attention
, and has even been the subject of a documentary
What our Bustards Did This Summer
Each of our tagged
female bustards spent the summer in her own way. Mendee
spent her summer months extensively exploring mountainous areas and clearings adjacent to her main breeding valley. Sachokchin incubated a clutch of eggs, but appears to have lost her chicks shortly after hatching. And after losing a clutch of eggs, Nergui
went to the mountains for a period as well. Low rates of reproduction
due to loss of eggs and chicks to predators (crows, foxes and wolves) and crushing by livestock and agricultural machinery is a major cause for concern across the Great Bustard's range.
The bustards we are monitoring have made it to the Bayanur oasis in Inner Mongolia - half-way from their wintering site in China to their breeding grounds in northern Mongolia