Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia – As highlighted by both national and international media, a severe winter weather disaster—the phenomenon known as a ‘dzud’—during the 2023-2024 winter has presented unprecedented challenges for the people of Mongolia. Wildlife is also experiencing dzud, however much less information is available on impact and trends. Recent reports by Mongolia’s Emergency Management Agency indicate the loss of over 5.2 million livestock animals by March 25th, 2024, rising from 2.6 million reported on February 26th. It is expected that the peak of livestock mortality will continue until April. These losses include sheep, goats, horses, camels, and cows, all of which are vital for the livelihoods and way of life of pastoralists in Mongolia.

This Situation Update provides a summary of recent developments concerning the dzud which is impacting both people and wildlife. It focuses on geographic areas where the WCS Mongolia team primarily supports partners. It also looks at wildlife conservation in the context of the dzud and our team's initial responses. 

“Unfortunately, Mongolia is extremely vulnerable to climate change, and it appears to be intensifying in frequency and intensity. Very little information is available on the impact on wildlife. We need to better understand and be ready for the consequences on people and wildlife,”  said Otgonsuren Avirmed, WCS Mongolia’s Climate Change and Monitoring Manager.  

The complete report can be found HERE.