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Wed, 10/18/2017 - 19:14

Sometimes, the traditional ways of doing things really are better.

In the stark landscape of Mongolia, nomadic herders have migrated with their livestock to follow the forage for thousands of years.

During the Soviet occupation of Mongolia, most of the livestock guarding dogs were shot or released. Without the dogs, herdsmen resorted to shooting the predators - wolves and the endangered snow leopard.

ICB is proud to be assisting The Mongolian Bankhar Dog Project in a breeding program to bring back the dogs that have protected the livestock for thousands of years, the Mongolian Bankar.

Dogs instead of guns

The Bankhar Dog Project, partnering with ICB and the the Snow Leopard Trust and with the cooperation of Mongolia's Gorkhi Terelj and Hustai National Parks, has established a breeding program in Mongolia and whelped the first generation of nineteen puppies this past winter. The pups have been placed with herders and are already on the job, keeping their hoofed "family" safe from predators and the endangered snow leopards and wolves safe from guns.

This is a win for everybody. The predators that are essential for maintaining the balance of the ecosystem can coexist with the livestock that sustain the nomadic families and their traditional lifestyle.

Carol Beuchat