on the Steppe Photo
- A radio-collared Mongolian gazelle sets out across the Eastern Steppe. These medium-sized antelope are among the last great herds of migratory wildlife, with more than a million traveling across the vast expanse of Mongolia’s grasslands as they search for forage throughout the year.
For the past decade, these animals have been part of a wildlife health study conducted by WCS and partners. The researchers have found that livestock, rather than gazelles, drive foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks on the Eastern Steppe. This highly contagious viral disease affects domestic sheep, goats, camels, and cattle, as well as Mongolian gazelles. As a result, its outbreaks cause severe disruption of Mongolia’s rural economy. Based on their observations, the researchers recommend a health-monitoring program that focuses on livestock populations.
- © Takehiko Y. Ito/Arid Land Research Center-Tottori University (Japan)