It gives me great pleasure to announce the successful conclusion of the
2016 WildArt Mongolia Expedition!
The fourth Expedition traveled to the Great Gobi A Strictly Protected Area (see map below) to try to see critically endangered Gobi bear and, if possible, meet with the researchers. The current estimate is that there are around 40 bears. They are a brown bear (Ursus arctos gobiensis). While we did not see any bears, but did see tracks and scat, we had a great sighting of equally endangered wild bactrian camels and a variety of birds and small mammals. I also arranged for us to visit with staff and local herder families who are involved with the Mongolian Bankhar Dog Project, which is breeding the traditional mastiff-type guard dogs, bonding the puppies with livestock and placing them with families who live where their animals are exposed to predation. The dogs will stay with the sheep and goats 24/7. One goal of the project is to reduce the killing of predators like snow leopards and wolves. Another is to address desertification, an increasing problem in Mongolia.
The Expedition is concluded for 2016. I am leaving most of the information here because I will be doing another one in 2020 and this basic information will still apply.
Nomadic Journeys, who have made all my in-country travel arrangements for eleven of my twelve trips to Mongolia (the first was an Earthwatch project in 2005), will be handling, as usual, all the arrangements and logistics. We will be tent camping (in stand-up tipitents, possibly with cots) and traveling in Land Cruisers with drivers, guide and cook. All meals are included (vegetarians can be accommodated with advance notice; vegans regretfully cannot). A three season sleeping bag is necessary.
To reserve your place on the Expedition, please pay a deposit on the Nomadic Journeys website here. For “Trip Name”, write WildArt Mongolia Expedition. While you’re on their site you can explore their options for before or after the Expedition, including self-guided ger camp stays.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to write to me via the contact form on my website. Further information will be sent on expected weather conditions and equipment/clothing suggestions to those who are participating.
ABOUT SUSAN FOX
Susan first went to Mongolia in the spring of 2005 on an Earthwatch-sponsored project to help study argali sheep at Ikh Nartiin Chuluu Nature Reserve, which is located about a six hour drive south of Ulaanbaatar on the very northern edge of the Gobi. She remains involved in conservation work at the reserve, supporting a local women’s felt craft collective, Ikh Nart Is Our Future.
Susan has returned to Mongolia nine more times since then, traveling to a variety of destinations as she has also learned about the wildlife, the land and the Mongol people.
Booking her travel through one of the oldest, well established tour companies in Mongolia, Nomadic Journeys, Susan has traveled to far western Mongolia to visit a remote river valley, Khomiin Tal, where takhi (Przewalski’s horse) were reintroduced in 2004; gone to the southern Gobi to watch the sun go down over The Flaming Cliffs; wandered through colorful old monasteries; rough camped for two weeks in both the Gobi and Hangai Mountains, setting up tents in whatever looked like a good spot,; spent a summer morning floating down a beautiful river in the northern Khan Khentii mountains; experienced a July hailstorm and crossed rain-swollen rivers and streams with an experienced Mongol driver/guide; ridden Mongol horses; drunk airag (fermented mare’s milk) in herder’s gers; and spent many hours observing a variety of Mongolian wildlife, including argali, Siberian ibex, bokh (red deer), takhi, Siberian marmots, hamsters, jerbils, cinereous vultures, endangered cranes, waterfowl, golden and steppe eagles and other raptors.
She has also taken a deep interest in Mongol culture, working to learn the both the language and customs of these legendary, but today quite modern, people, who once conquered the largest land empire in history and have been part of The Great Mongolian State, founded by Chinggis Khan, since 1206.
Her ten previous trips have given her a great desire to share the wonder and beauty of the Land of Blue Skies with her fellow artists and the experience and knowledge to work through Nomadic Journeys to plan and carry out the WildArt Mongolia Expeditions.