The biology, ecology, composition and distribution of bird species in the eastern shore of Lake Hövsgöl and its surrounding areas are broadly impacted by climatic conditions (e.g. precipitation, air temperature, wind, snow and ice cover, and relative humidity), vegetation cover.
The purpose of bird research are: Identify and compare results of previous studies including data on distribution, density, breeding, migration and habitat of birds in the study valleys, identify human and grazing impacts on the bird species in the valleys, conduct comprehensive studies on rare, endangered and predator species within the project sites. We have used methods which are including observation of transect line and point counting, mist net and bird banding. The main transect line divided into three parts which are included impacted, none impacted and across transect. Impacted transect: Human and livestock impacted transect was taken from the river confluence along the riparian zone at 2 km distance. This selected site is one of the main grazing areas during the spring and summer and also one of the stopover and breeding sites for migratory species during these seasons.
No impacted transect: A non-impacted transect was taken in unpopulated areas or the areas near winter settlements free of humans and livestock in the summertime.
Cross cutting transect: Crosscutting transects were taken in different parts of the natural zones, i.e., steppe, forest, meadow, and riparian zones in each valley. Transects were taken by cutting across the impacted and non impacted transects mentioned. The previous research results show in total, 120 species representing 45 families and 15 orders were recorded during the summers of 2002 - 2005.
The number species and individuals are significantly different among the months during the summer. Bird species number decreases during the months (from June, July and August 2003, 2004).
The research result, that is 46% of the total birds recorded in project sites are insectovores, 18% are seed eating, 13% are plant eating, 11% are rodent and small mammal eating, 6% fish eating and the rest 6% are bird eating species.
Additionally it was observed that the number of birds recorded in the forest, steppe and riparian zones varied during the last 4 years. This was also dependent on the amounts of precipitation that occurred in the region. For instance, in each valley the number of riparian zone species was higher in the summer of 2003 compared to those in summer of 2002, due to increased precipitation in 2005.
During the project implementation (2002-2005) the most abundant species and individual densities among the birds recorded were recorded in impacted transects. For instance, there were 100 individuals of 22 species recorded in an impacted transect, while there were 45 individuals of 14 species recorded in non-impacted transects. Results of the researches conducted within the last four years show that there is reduction in the bird species numbers in the project site valleys (105 species were recorded in 2002, 111 species in 2003 108 species in 2004, and 91 species in 2005). There are several causes to reduce the species numbers. For instance, due to climatic changes in recent years: warming and low level of precipitation, the water tables have been reduced and even some parts in wetland areas have been dried up. Apart from these, there are also improper and destructive human activities i.e. destroying of nests and nesting grounds and collection of eggs as well as livestock grazing nearby and in nesting areas are taken place. These negative natural factors and human destructive actions have been resulting in reduced numbers of bird species and getting away from their habitats and ranges.