November 4, 2011

2011 update:
waterbird color marking activity in Mongolia

Dear all,

This is an update of the waterbird marking activity carried out in Mongolia jointly by the Wildlife Science and Conservation Center of Mongolia(WSCC) and the Mongolian Academy of Sciences (MAS) in 2011. The project is an important part of the major effort to learn about the migration of waterbirds in Mongolia and to understand highly pathogenic avian influenza virus prevalence in wild birds and disease transmission among waterfowl populations in Mongolia. Since 2006, when the WSCC–MAS team started the color marking project, a total of 48 Swan Geese, 398 Bar-headed Geese and 181 Whooper Swans have been captured and color-marked in Mongolia. We hope that these color marked birds will help us to better understand and learn about wild bird migration, stopover sites, population connectivity, and the preferred wintering grounds for these species. Additional information on our activities on waterbird research and avian influenza surveillance can be found here.

In 2011, the project focused on western Mongolian lakes and wetlands. The work was carried out at a stationary field camp at Terkhiin Tsagaan Lake National Park in Arkhangai Province, and mobile survey operations that covered Arkhangai, Zavkhan, Bulgan, Uvs, Bayan-Olgii, Khovd, and Bayankhongor aimags (provinces). This year we have successfully captured and marked 101 Whooper Swans, 2 Mute Swans, and 117 Bar-headed Geese. The swans were marked with blue neck collars with a four digit letter-number code and the Bar-headed Geese have green neck collars with a three digit letter-number code.

All captured birds were sampled for avian influenza. The samples will be analyzed in a laboratory in USA.

The project was implemented by the Wildlife Science and Conservation Center and the Institute of Biology of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences with the generous financial support from the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

We would like to ask again colleagues in the Asia region to watch out for swans and geese with neck collars. All resightings should be directed to Nyambayar Batbayar at WSCC of Mongolia by email. Last year, we received many exciting resightings from colleagues in stopover and wintering grounds in India, China, Russia, and Korea. I hope we will continue to receive more resightings from you in the future. Thank you very much for your support in advance.


Nyambayar Batbayar

Wildlife Science and Conservation Center of Mongolia
Undram Plaza, Office 404
Bayanzurkh District
Ulaanbaatar 210351
Mobile: +976-99257886
Tel: +976-70157886
email: nyambayar at

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