Mongolia remains one of the most pristine and unspoiled regions of the world. It spans the last intact ecological transition from subarctic habitats through steppes to Asian desert. Mongolia has centuries of tradition of respect for nature and the oldest nature reserve in the world.
Mountains dominated two-third of the country. Mongolia’s highest peaks are permanently snow-capped and glaciers .There is 2000 lakes and 3800 rivers in Mongolia. The continental watershed crosses Mongolia’s northern regions and divides the country into two parts with dissimilar climates –north Mongolia continues the East Siberian natural scenery. Whilst the southern section: taking up two thirds of Mongolian vast area, belongs to arid desert and semi-desert.
Mongolian largest lakes are Khovsgol, Khar Us, and Ubs. Khovsgol Lake is the deepest lake (282m) and the country’s largest freshwater recourse.
The country’s largest rivers are Selenge, Orkhon, Tuul, Hovd, Kherlen and Halhin Gol. Selenge River flows into Lake Baikal in Russia. Baikal is the world’s largest volume of freshwater.
4000 plant species occur in Mongolia. Mongolia is the habitat of 136 mammal species, 436 species of bird, 20 reptile, 10 amphibian and 75 fish species and more than 15,000 insect species. Many Mongolian animals, their ecosystems and riches, are very rare in Eurasia and the world. For example: Snow Lepard (Uncia uncia), Takhi Horse (Equus przewalskii), Wild Ass (Equus hemionus luteus), Gobi Bear, Wild Bactrian camel (Camelus bactrainus ferus), Dalmation Pelican (Pelecanus crispus Bruch) etc.
The steppes from east to west are splendid pastures. The grass cover is diverse and rich in flowers and herbs, a mix of alpine, temperature and Mediterranean flowers co-existing. Nearly 10% is forest. Mainly conifers in the northern region next to Siberia. Trees are conifers, predominantly larch, cedar, fine, fir and spruce. Most of Mongolia is wide open steppes, grasslands in transition with the arid lands of the Gobi Desert.
The forests support wolf, wild boar, elk, moose, deer, caribou, antelope and brown bear. The steppes and forest margins support marmot, muskrat, fox, steppe fox and sable. Remote mountains support wild cats such as lynx and snow leopard, ibex and wild sheep-Argali.
Mongolia is the home of the wild ass, wild camel, wild sheep, ibex and nocturnal yellow bear. The wild horse –Takhi is being reintroduced from captive herds abroad. Bird life rich and includes golden eagle, bearded vulture and other birds of prey. While the 2000 lakes are a magnet for water birds including storks, Black storks (Ciconia nigra), Dalmation Pelicans, Relict gulls , Bar headed goose, and Great white egret etc.