Mongolia’s 1st workshop for bats

A workshop on bat research techniques was held at the Mongolian State University of Education in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia on 24th May 2011. This was a quite unique workshop because it brought together local researchers, students, and park biologists who are interested in bat research in the country for the first time. Also the workshop’s special focus was on bat echolocation and using acoustics research techniques for bat research in Mongolia. The workshop idea was initiated by Cori Lausen, a bat expert from Birchdale Ecological Ltd., Canada and supported and organized by the Wildlife Science and Conservation Center of Mongolia.

In Mongolia, there are not many researchers who study bats and bat diversity of the country is still not well known. The workshop provided a rare one-day opportunity for local researchers to share information and discuss about bats and learn about the current conservation and research status of 20 bat species in Mongolia.

The training part of the workshop used two types of bat detectors: zero-crossing and full spectrum.  Participants practiced analyzing bat echolocation data recorded in Mongolian Gobi by Dr. Cori Lausen and her Mongolian colleague Ariunbold Jargalsaikhan. Software and equipment used for the training were donated by the world’s leading bat detector and software manufacturers:  Sonobat, Wildlife Acoustics, and Titley Scientific. At the end of the workshop, the equipment and software licenses were donated by the manufacturers to Mongolians for their future bat research activities in Mongolia.

Dr. Batsaikhan Nyamsuren who is a professor at the National University of Mongolia said “We are so grateful to the organizers and especially Dr.Lausen for today’s workshop and most importantly this equipment, and knowledge and practice how to use them in the field and lab research. This will definitely benefit our researchers and significantly advance our work on bats. We used to have only mist nets to catch and calipers to measure bats until today. Now this modern and bat friendly technology has become available to us”.

Aruinbold Jargalsaikhan, a professor from the Mongolian State University of Education said “I am really excited about today’s workshop; also I was the first person to use this equipment and collect bat data in Mongolia. I think we can do a lot of good research and data collection with this equipment”. Nyambayar Batbayar, director of the WSCC of Mongolia says “Today’s workshop could be a historic event for the bat research community in this country. We never had an opportunity to sit together and share our common interests in bats as we did today. I am sure our bats will benefit from this workshop as well”.  Dr. Lausen commented that “It was a real pleasure working the Mongolian biologists.  They have such a tremendous enthusiasm for bat conservation and for learning of new tools for bat research.  I believe that they are going to make huge advancements in bat conservation and understanding bat acoustics in Mongolia.”

The workshop was well attended by the students from Mongolian State University of Education and National University of Mongolia, and there was a great interest among students to participate in bat research and conservation projects.

Steppe bats of Mongolia

BATS

Volume 27, No. 4 Winter 2009

Steppe Bats of Mongolia

Nyambayar Batbayar, Ariunbold Jargalsaikhan, Sukhchuluun Gansukh

Mongolia is changing. Traditional land uses and the lifestyles of nomadic herders are being pushed by political, economic and climatic changes into a still-uncertain future. Poorly planned and unmanaged rural development increasingly threatens our country's ecosystems and biodiversity. The government is taking steps toward protecting wildlife, but conservation is hampered by a severe lack of data about the status of most species.

With the center as a base and armed with a grant from BCI's Global Grassroots Conservation Fund, our team of Mongolian biologists recently completed a field study focused on bats of the steppes – a pilot project to evaluate the possibility of a long-term monitoring program.

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visit Bat Conservation International's website

Read full article here

Bats on Mongolian steppe: vulnerability to drought and dependence on hand dug wells

[by J.Ariunbold and B.Nyambayar] Bats of the steppe habitat require particular attention in Mongolia because of increasingly frequent droughts and the looming specter of global warming which could have a devastating impact on their population. Sadly, nearly half of known bat species in the country have been recorded in water-short, arid areas such as the steppes and these populations are especially vulnerable.

Bat conservation is at very early stage here in Mongolia due a lack of the necessary basic ecological knowledge and a still-limited awareness of the annual life cycle, roosting habitats, breeding and the feeding/water requirements of bats. A small project supported by Bat Conservation International enabled Mongolian biologists to start some ground work on bat research and conservation in the arid steppe habitat of central Mongolia.
© 2010 WSCC
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