Large infrastructure projects such as roads, railways, mining sites, pipelines and fences can have detrimental effects on migratory gazelles, Wild Asses and Saiga Antelopes, causing not only habitat fragmentation but also direct mortality. This is the result of a recent study from WWF Mongolia, which analyses the barrier effect of infrastructure development in Mongolia on migratory ungulates.
CMS has identified barriers to migration as a key priority for the conservation of migratory species. In Central Asia and Mongolia in particular, the number of planned and constructed large infrastructure projects increased rapidly over the last years, causing serious threats to major migratory ungulates such as Goitered and Mongolian Gazelles, Asiatic Wild Asses, wild camels and Saiga Antelopes. Negative effects include habitat fragmentation and barriers to migration routes, genetic isolation and splitting of population as well as direct mortality when animals run into trucks or die hanging in wired fences.
The Mongolian case study serves as the starting point to initiate further concise action to address the issue of barriers to the migration of terrestrial mammals. For further information see the research report: Barriers to Migration – Analyzing the Effects of Infrastructure on Migratory Terrestrial Mammals in Mongolia. The study was commissioned by the UNEP/CMS Secretariat with funding from the Principality of Monaco, and was discussed at the 17th meeting of the Scientific Council in Bergen (17/18 November 2011).