Gunbat Gundensambuu is a Masters student at the National University of Mongolia, studying for a degree in ecology and conservation. The ecology of the Mongolian saiga antelope has featured in Gunbat’s previous studies and will form the basis of his MSc thesis. He has also worked in saiga conservation directly with WWF Mongolia.
Gunbat intends to use the grant to research the food habits of the Mongolian saiga and the extent that these overlap with those of domestic livestock. There is anecdotal evidence for competition between the two for forage and water, potentially hampering saiga conservation efforts, but as yet no formal study has been undertaken.
Gunbat’s work, which will be conducted in the Sharge Nature Reserve in Western Mongolia, will address this deficiency and could be used in the development of sustainable rangeland use plans which promote cohabitation of people and saiga antelope.