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Wetlands of international importance. Buir lake

Buir Lake is the largest lake in Eastern Mongolia. The lake and its surrounding wetlands are highly important for the migratory birds located along East Asian-Australian flyway route. In addition, the Lake Buir is abundant by fish stocks so that it has economic importance for local communities.
Buir Lake and its surrounding wetlands was officially listed as the Ramsar site on March 22, 2004 as they met the first six out of nine criteria for designation and inclusion of areas in the Ramsar Convention List.

buir nuur_Ramsar-map.jpg

A key threat to Buir Lake and its surrounding wetlands is fishing. Breeding ground in Buir Lake is relatively small, but it overlaps with fishing ground. Populations of game fish species have declined due to catching and hunting of the species during their breeding seasons. In addition, game fish species populations have become dominate by juveniles in terms of their ages and body sizes of the game species become smaller represented that they are being affected by bio-ecological changes. Large amounts of fish, water birds, Gammarus lacustris, mosquito larvae, and other benthic plants and organisms including mollusks are caught and destroyed by the fish nets put and
abandoned in the Lake. Besides, eutrophication takes place in the Lake’s bottom due to the household wastes leftover and entering the Lake. Also, benthic sediments and plants are harvested by fish nets that made aquatic plant roots loosen and removed; consequently loosen and removed plants are pushed by water into outer edges of the Lake. Remnants of these accumulated materials and swamps increasingly appear in outer edges of the Lake.

Lately, in average 7000 vacationers or holiday makers visited Buir Lake every travel season. As numbers of travelers and visitors were increased from year to year, the wastes leftover and earth roads along the Lake’s shore have been increasing.

Buir lake and its surrounding wetlands are under local protection and its daily conservation  is managed by the local government. Furthermore, Buir lake - Menen Steppe Basin Authority carries out conservation management in accordance with the Law on Water of Mongolia. 

Mongolia officially signed the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl habitat on April 8, 1998 and became the 104th Contracting Party. The Contracting Parties to the Convention act as its policy making unit represented by the Governments of the countries signed. Thus, the officially recognized body representing Mongolia at the Ramsar Convention is the Ministry of Environment and Tourism.
As the Contracting Party to the Convention, Mongolia commits to implement the wetlands conservation management, submit its performance progress reports, and regularly take part in implementation of the Convention activities under its commitment to the Convention.


Authors: WWF Mongolia, 2021
File: buir-nuur_Ramsar.pdf