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Connectivity of the Asiatic wild ass population in the Mongolian Gobi.

Kaczensky P, Kuehn R, Lhagvasuren B, Pietsch S, Yang W, Walzer C - Biol. Conserv. (2011)

Bottom Line: Population genetics results identified two subpopulations and delineated a genetic boundary between the Dzungarian and Transaltai Gobi for which the most likely explanation are the mountain ranges separating the two areas.Home ranges and locations of 19 radiomarked wild asses support the assumed restricting effects of more productive habitats and mountain ranges and additionally point towards a barrier effect of fences.In the southwest Gobi, allowing for openings in the border fence to China and managing the border area as an ecological corridor would connect three large protected areas together covering over 70,000 km(2) of wild ass habitat.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Austria.

ABSTRACT
Long-distance migrations of wildlife have been identified as important biological phenomena, but their conservation remains a major challenge. The Mongolian Gobi is one of the last refuges for the Asiatic wild ass (Equus hemionus) and other threatened migratory mammals. Using historic and current distribution ranges, population genetics, and telemetry data we assessed the connectivity of the wild ass population in the context of natural and anthropogenic landscape features and the existing network of protected areas. In the Mongolian Gobi mean biomass production is highly correlated with human and livestock density and seems to predict wild ass occurrence at the upper level. The current wild ass distribution range largely falls into areas below the 250 gC/m(2)/year productivity isoline, suggesting that under the present land use more productive areas have become unavailable for wild asses. Population genetics results identified two subpopulations and delineated a genetic boundary between the Dzungarian and Transaltai Gobi for which the most likely explanation are the mountain ranges separating the two areas. Home ranges and locations of 19 radiomarked wild asses support the assumed restricting effects of more productive habitats and mountain ranges and additionally point towards a barrier effect of fences. Furthermore, telemetry data shows that in the Dzungarian and Transaltai Gobi individual wild ass rarely ventured outside of the protected areas, whereas in the southeast Gobi asses only spend a small fraction of their time within the protected area network. Conserving the continuity of the wild ass population will need a landscape level approach, also including multi-use landscapes outside of protected areas, particularly in the southeast Gobi. In the southwest Gobi, allowing for openings in the border fence to China and managing the border area as an ecological corridor would connect three large protected areas together covering over 70,000 km(2) of wild ass habitat.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

GPS locations and ranges of 18 Asiatic wild asses in the Dzungarian, Transaltai, and southeast Gobi of Mongolia 2002–2008. Grey lines delineate the three geo-biographical areas of the Mongolian Gobi. KNR = Kalimalai Nature Reserve, GGA = Great Gobi A strictly protected area, GGB = Great Gobi B strictly protected area, GGS = Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park, SGA = Small Gobi A strictly protected area, SGB = Small Gobi B strictly protected area.
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f0005: GPS locations and ranges of 18 Asiatic wild asses in the Dzungarian, Transaltai, and southeast Gobi of Mongolia 2002–2008. Grey lines delineate the three geo-biographical areas of the Mongolian Gobi. KNR = Kalimalai Nature Reserve, GGA = Great Gobi A strictly protected area, GGB = Great Gobi B strictly protected area, GGS = Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park, SGA = Small Gobi A strictly protected area, SGB = Small Gobi B strictly protected area.

Mentions: The Gobi areas cover roughly 300,000 km2 of desert steppe and desert areas in southern Mongolia (Fig. 1). The climate is strongly continental with long cold winters (January mean, −15 °C to −20 °C) and short hot summers (July mean, 20–25 °C). Average annual precipitation ranges from 50 mm in the Transaltai Gobi, to 100 mm in the Dzungarian Gobi, and up to 200 mm in parts of the southeastern Gobi (von Wehrden and Wesche, 2007). Because the area also shows high levels of inter-annual variation in precipitation, the majority of the Gobi is believed to follow non-equilibrium dynamics (von Wehrden et al., submitted for publication) and thus to have a low risk for degradation caused by grazing.


Connectivity of the Asiatic wild ass population in the Mongolian Gobi.

Kaczensky P, Kuehn R, Lhagvasuren B, Pietsch S, Yang W, Walzer C - Biol. Conserv. (2011)

GPS locations and ranges of 18 Asiatic wild asses in the Dzungarian, Transaltai, and southeast Gobi of Mongolia 2002–2008. Grey lines delineate the three geo-biographical areas of the Mongolian Gobi. KNR = Kalimalai Nature Reserve, GGA = Great Gobi A strictly protected area, GGB = Great Gobi B strictly protected area, GGS = Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park, SGA = Small Gobi A strictly protected area, SGB = Small Gobi B strictly protected area.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3040789&req=5

f0005: GPS locations and ranges of 18 Asiatic wild asses in the Dzungarian, Transaltai, and southeast Gobi of Mongolia 2002–2008. Grey lines delineate the three geo-biographical areas of the Mongolian Gobi. KNR = Kalimalai Nature Reserve, GGA = Great Gobi A strictly protected area, GGB = Great Gobi B strictly protected area, GGS = Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park, SGA = Small Gobi A strictly protected area, SGB = Small Gobi B strictly protected area.
Mentions: The Gobi areas cover roughly 300,000 km2 of desert steppe and desert areas in southern Mongolia (Fig. 1). The climate is strongly continental with long cold winters (January mean, −15 °C to −20 °C) and short hot summers (July mean, 20–25 °C). Average annual precipitation ranges from 50 mm in the Transaltai Gobi, to 100 mm in the Dzungarian Gobi, and up to 200 mm in parts of the southeastern Gobi (von Wehrden and Wesche, 2007). Because the area also shows high levels of inter-annual variation in precipitation, the majority of the Gobi is believed to follow non-equilibrium dynamics (von Wehrden et al., submitted for publication) and thus to have a low risk for degradation caused by grazing.

Bottom Line: Population genetics results identified two subpopulations and delineated a genetic boundary between the Dzungarian and Transaltai Gobi for which the most likely explanation are the mountain ranges separating the two areas.Home ranges and locations of 19 radiomarked wild asses support the assumed restricting effects of more productive habitats and mountain ranges and additionally point towards a barrier effect of fences.In the southwest Gobi, allowing for openings in the border fence to China and managing the border area as an ecological corridor would connect three large protected areas together covering over 70,000 km(2) of wild ass habitat.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Austria.

ABSTRACT
Long-distance migrations of wildlife have been identified as important biological phenomena, but their conservation remains a major challenge. The Mongolian Gobi is one of the last refuges for the Asiatic wild ass (Equus hemionus) and other threatened migratory mammals. Using historic and current distribution ranges, population genetics, and telemetry data we assessed the connectivity of the wild ass population in the context of natural and anthropogenic landscape features and the existing network of protected areas. In the Mongolian Gobi mean biomass production is highly correlated with human and livestock density and seems to predict wild ass occurrence at the upper level. The current wild ass distribution range largely falls into areas below the 250 gC/m(2)/year productivity isoline, suggesting that under the present land use more productive areas have become unavailable for wild asses. Population genetics results identified two subpopulations and delineated a genetic boundary between the Dzungarian and Transaltai Gobi for which the most likely explanation are the mountain ranges separating the two areas. Home ranges and locations of 19 radiomarked wild asses support the assumed restricting effects of more productive habitats and mountain ranges and additionally point towards a barrier effect of fences. Furthermore, telemetry data shows that in the Dzungarian and Transaltai Gobi individual wild ass rarely ventured outside of the protected areas, whereas in the southeast Gobi asses only spend a small fraction of their time within the protected area network. Conserving the continuity of the wild ass population will need a landscape level approach, also including multi-use landscapes outside of protected areas, particularly in the southeast Gobi. In the southwest Gobi, allowing for openings in the border fence to China and managing the border area as an ecological corridor would connect three large protected areas together covering over 70,000 km(2) of wild ass habitat.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus