Shorebird monitoring activities of “Chukh” Bird Research Station, the Eastern Mongolia

A view of Chukh Lake © Chukh Bird Research Station

Mongolia is located on the inland route for migratory shorebirds between non-breeding grounds in Australia, southern Asia and breeding areas in Asian tundra and there are 60 species of shorebirds have been recorded in the country and most of them migrate along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. However, data of the shorebird populations that use this route is deficient. There are numerous water points scattered throughout the dry steppe of the eastern part of Mongolia that are vital important places for migratory birds as stopover sites during the migration period.

The Chukh Bird Research Station /CBRS/ is coordinated by the Mongolian Bird Conservation Center (MBCC) which is one of the leading non-governmental organizations in avian researches and conservation in Mongolia. The goal of the CBRS is to carry out long-term and sustainable monitoring of breeding and migratory shorebirds in the Chukh Lake. And in order to define a model management, ecological and biological studies of the lake and its biodiversity are being carried out.

Chukh Lake is in the buffer zone of Mongolian Daurian Strictly Protected area which is also designated as World Heritage of UNESCO, the Man and Biosphere Reserve, Ramsar Convention (924), Important Bird Area (MN066), East Asian-Australasian Flyway Network Site (EAAF024, known as Mongol Daguur Strictly Protected Area), and the Daurian International Protected Area. The surface area of the Chukh Lake is 2.1km2, the depth is 3.5m, the width is 1.7 km, the length is 1.9km, and the shoreline is 5.8km. Overall, it contains 5.7 million cubic meters of water.

As mentioned above, a total of 60 species of shorebirds have been recorded in Mongolia and 40 species out of these have been observed and 38 species were trapped in Chukh Lake during the monitoring seasons in 2019 and 2020. In 2019, the first monitoring year, we ringed a total of 407 individuals belonging to 31 species of shorebirds, and in 2020, the second monitoring year, we ringed a total of 268 individuals of 25 species. Each country has its own color flagging code on shorebirds according to the Shorebird Color Flagging Protocol on the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. In Mongolia, a shorebird’s color flagging code is blue over green on the right leg.

Asian dowitcher with tracker and legflags blue over green on right leg indicating being tagged in Mongolia © Chukh Bird Research Station

We also observe and record the numbers of all other species of the water birds at the Lake every day during the monitoring seasons. Most common species of shorebirds was Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa), Asian Dowitcher (Limnodromus semipalmatus), Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (Calidris acuminаta), Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola), Common Redshank (Tringa totanus), Spotted Redshank (Tringa erythropus), Red-necked Stint (Calidris ruficollis), Temminck’s Stint (Calidris temminckii) and Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos).

Prepared by “Chukh” Bird Research Station, in Mongolia, 08 January, 2021.

Contact to: Mongolian Bird Conservation Center

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Check the 2019 Bird ringing report at Chukh Bird Research Station:

Autumn in Chukh in 2020 © Chukh Bird Research Station

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