Slideshow
On Mongolia's Vast Steppes

January 28, 2018

The Gobi Desert can be a remote and challenging environment for wildlife even in the best of times; boundless, arid, and home to unique species found nowhere else in the world. Our staff photographer, Julie Larsen Maher, traveled there with WCS Mongolia to capture images of its inhabitants.

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Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

Goitered gazelle, at home here and across roughly 20 countries, are rather quick on their feet. In the face of perceived danger, they are known to run up to about 40 miles per hour.

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Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

Rapid expansion and development in the mining sector and extensive national road construction plans could have drastic impacts on the animals of the Gobi, like this little owl peeking out through the desert scrub.

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Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

WCS works with local herders in the South Gobi on their production of sustainable and wildlife-friendly cashmere.

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Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

In Mongolia, yurts are distinctive dwellings that date back thousands of years. They're round, portable structures that can be dismantled and moved seasonally. Families gather, cook, and sleep inside. They're also cozy protection from the weather.

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Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

Kulan or Asiatic wild asses are able to travel thousands of miles to find what they need to survive. This is extremely helpful in an unpredictable desert environment.

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Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

Argali are the largest wild sheep on the planet. During mating season, the males ram each other with their large horns to try to assert dominance. Unfortunately, they're hunted for their horns, as well.

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Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

Bactrian camels survive the Gobi's cold winters thanks in part to their thick coats. When the temperature starts to rise for summer, they shed them.

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Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

Mongolia's steppes are pristine places, home to the grazing and migration of some of the world’s most unique wildlife.

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