On 24-30 May 2017, Great Bustard experts from across the globe met in Ulaanbaatar to plan conservation of the Great Bustard in Asia. The conference hosted experts from 9 countries, including China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, United Kingdom and USA, and included contributions from Iran and Turkmenistan. It should be noticed that Uzbekistan joined the conference on Great Bustard for the first time and was presented by Uzbekistan Society for the protection of Birds.

The conference was supported by the Mongolian government and organized by the Wildlife Science and Conservation Center of Mongolia and the Eurasian Bustard Alliance. It was attended by Dr. Borja Heredia, a senior representative from the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), an international agreement administered by the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment). The Great Bustards cross international boundaries during their migration and coordination of conservation measures between countries is needed to be effective.

Great Bustard is the heaviest bird capable of flight. Asian Great Bustards are rarer than snow leopards. Western European Great Bustard populations are now either stable or increasing but in the east there is conservation concern as the numbers decline. The conference concentrated on identifying the threats to the birds at different times of the year in breeding, stopover, and wintering sites, and on international cooperation to remove or reduce these threats. Major threats to the species in Asia are illegal hunting and poisoning for meat, and loss of habitat in certain areas.

As Dr Nyambayar Batbayar, Director, Wildlife Science and Conservation Centre of Mongolia noticed, 'We hope conference has been a big step in preserving the Great Bustard in Asia. The migratory behaviour of the bird was reflected in the international nature of the conference - many nations working together'. Dr Mimi Kessler, Director, Eurasian Great Bustard Alliance said, 'The Great Bustards move from one country to another, so coordinated international conservation efforts are essential alongside local measures.'

Supported by: BirdLife International NABU

© Compiled by Oleg Kashkarov
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Last modified: 04.04.2021