The Mongolian Wildlife and Climate Change Project focuses on climate-sensitive wildlife species in high-altitude ecosystems. Conservation of climate-sensitive species will be a major challenge for wildlife managers over the coming century, and it is urgent that we obtain baseline data on these species as quickly as possible. In Mongolia, many species have never been systematically studied, and a number of these are likely to be climate sensitive. We are currently working on the first intensive studies of Mongolian wolverine, alpine pika, and Eurasian nutcracker, in affiliation with Mongolian researchers and with scientists working on the same (wolverine) or similar (North American pika, Clark’s nutcracker) species in the Yellowstone region of the US. These partnerships allow for cross-cultural exchange as well as comparable datasets from two sides of the planet.
We work with professional Mongolian ecologists, rangers, and wildlife conservationists, but we also incorporate communities and local knowledge into our work. Drawing on the environmental ethic of Chingis Khan, Buddhist tradition, and Shamanic practice, we respect and encourage the development of a uniquely Mongolian approach to conservation.
The MWCCP is directed by Rebecca Watters, who is a Research Associate at The Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative. Invaluable intellectual support is provided by the amazing wolverine researchers at The Wolverine Foundation.