Saving the critically endangered musk deer in Mongolia

Saving the critically endangered musk deer in Mongolia

The number of musk deer in Mongolia has plummeted by some 83 percent since the 1970s, landing them on the country’s red list of critically endangered species.

Despite the fact that hunting of musk deer has been illegal in Mongolia since 1953, a minimum average of 2000 male musk deer were poached annually between 1996 and 2001 in the country.

Weighing just up to 15 kilograms and with life expectancy of up to 12 years, musk deer is named as the “Forest Police” thanks to its unique whistling sound it makes during potential danger alerting the other animals

A UN-supported biodiversity initiative is helping to stop the deer from disappearing altogether.

The Ensuring Sustainability and Resilience (ENSURE) of Green Landscapes in Mongolia project, integrates biodiversity conservation and sustainable land and forest management, and covers the full range of Mongolia’s diverse ecological zones, from dry deserts, to steppe, boreal forests, and alpine mountain ranges.

This involves sharing best practice measures for the protection and management of globally threatened and iconic fauna, such as the musk deer, including community-based mobile anti-poaching units, and the implementation of stiff penalties for poaching