Bogdkhan Mountain Stirctly Protected Area
• Natural zone: mountain forest steppe, steppe
• Special features: Mongolia’s and one of the worlds, oldest protected areas. Manzhur Hiid monastery, Hiking trails, diverse flora and fauna.
• Size location: 41,600 hectares just south of Ulaanbaatar, capital of Mongolia, Tuv province.
• Established: 1778 as order of Manchurian King. Protected area reestablished 1978.
Bogdkhan Mountain Strictly protected Area is Mongolian oldest nature preserve. (since year 1778). Located on southern edge of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s capital city. Steppe covers preserve’s lower reaches, giving way to forest steppe, and finallly to boulder fields and coniferous forest, the southermost extent of the Khentii taiga. Altough officially protected in 1778, Bogdkhaan was first recognized as a sacred mountain, where logging and hunting were prohibited in the twelfth or thirteenth century. The highest point of the protected area, Tsetseegun mountain ( 2268m above sea level), is one of four holly peaks that surround Ulaanbaatar.
One of the south side of the protected area, monks have begun the process of rebuilding Manzhir Hiid monastery. Established in 1750, the monastery housed more than 350 monks and 20 temples, including schools of medicine, astrology, and philosophy, before it was destroyed in the 1930’s. Several temples have been reconstructed. Numerous archeological site have been discovered in the preserve, including cave paintings that archeologists date to three thousand years ago.
Species here are characteristic of taiga, mountain forest steppe, and steppe zone, including over 500 species of vascular plants, 9 trees, 47 mammals, 116 birds, 4 reptiles, and 2 amphibians. Five mammal species-including musk deer, roe deer, sable, and mountain hare-are endangered or threatened- as are 20 birds species, and 16 species of plants.
Some 70 families, including reserve rangers, live in or adjacent to the protected area. Also increasing numbers of Mongolian and foreign tourists visit Bogdkhaan. The area includes hiking trails close to downtown Ulaanbaatar, an astronomical observatory, overnight accommodations at the Nukht Ecotourism Center, and tourist facilities at Manzhur Hiit monastery. Before visiting the core protected are (for example, the mountains south of Ulaanbaatar), visitors must obtain Tax fee.