Ikh Nart Nature Reserve in Mongolia

Set amid the sweeping grassland and semi-desert steppe of eastern Mongolia, the Ikh Nart Nature Reserve is a modest (163,000-acre) protected area with a remarkable wildlife population that includes endangered Argali sheep as well as more common but no less dramatic species: Siberian ibex, grey wolf, Eurasian lynx, golden and steppe eagle—not to mention the largest vulture and the smallest hamster in the world.

Established in 1996, Ikh Nart, a five-hour drive or train ride southeast of Ulaanbataar, is unfenced, open to visitors year-round, and has no entrance fee or even a headquarters. Travelers can tent on their own or stay in one of a couple of organized ger camps. In part because of this openness, poaching (for both meat and furs) and illegal mining (for amethyst quartz) remain challenging threats for the reserve’s small ranger force, in operation since 2006.  

Team to travel to Kenya for Ranger seminar

Tracking poachers through the African bush is a bit different than following a set of hoofprints in the hope of spotting a kudu for a photo safari. To start with, kudus don’t carry AK47s. Nor are they likely to double back and set up a point ambush. 

Whether you’re after man or beast, tracking is an intensely focused activity. Signs are usually faint and ambiguous—a partial print here, a scuff there. It’s like trying to assemble a jigsaw puzzle with half the pieces missing. A good tracker looks ahead frequently to infer in which direction his quarry is likely to have gone, but 90% of the time his attention is directed just a few feet ahead.

And that can be hazardous if the quarry is a band of armed poachers. To improve game ranger success and personal safety, ConserVentures is working with the South Rift Game Scouts in Kenya to pay for and host a tactical tracking seminar in Kenya this October, as part of our Resources for Rangers program. Our team includes professional law enforcement officers for five days of intensive instruction. 

Sierra Designs supports wildlife rangers

Sierra Designs tents has donated five Lightning XT 2- and 3-person tents for the wildlife rangers of the South Rift Game Scouts Association. Also on the way, due to the generosity of several other donors, are five Garmin GPSs and five waterproof Bushnell binoculars. We will be taking them to Kenya next week. This equipment will help the new scouts association in their mission to combat poaching of wildlife, and to continue their fieldwork gathering data and ensuring the safety of community members and tourists in the South Rift. Find out more about Resources for Rangers . . .