The unique ecological characteristics of the park habitats are at the origin of the rich variety of its species and genetic diversity. A continuous scientific evaluation of the park now lists:
- -90 families of 400 species of insects,
- -5 orders / 10 family of 16 species of fish,
- -1 order / 2 families of 2 species of amphibians,
- -2 sub-orders / 3 families of 3 species of reptiles,
- -16 orders / 40 families of 223 species of birds,
- -7 orders / 16 families of 55 species of mammals.
Przewalski’s horse, 4 bird species are listed in the 1st annex of the Convention of International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES). 4 mammals and 29 bird species are listed in CITES’ 2nd annex. And 6 mammals and 9 species of bird are listed in the Red Book of Mongolia (1997). 10% of red deer population of Mongolia only resides in the park. This raises the point that HNP is an important stronghold area for the ungulate species. As well as it is clear that the park is important internationally as a place where rare and endangered species are protected.
Mammal. There are 8 orders, 25 families, 132 species of mammals registered in Mongolia. From them, 8 orders, 18 families, and 55 species of them registered in HNP. HNP was established to reintroduce the Przewalski’s horse in its original habitat. After its creation, local families moved out, and the damage related to livestock decreased significantly. The park is now a favorable place for wildlife to thrive. Since 1993, most species of wildlife have increased their populations. We have even documented several new species that have migrated to HNP and who reside in the park permanently.
Notably, in the late 1980’s, there were 130,000 Red deer in Mongolia. They were excessively hunted by poachers for their antlers, penis, testes, womb, tail, tongue etc, which are bought and sold on the black market. As a result, their numbers dropped sharply to a low 6000 in the early 2000s. Thanks to the well-planned Przewalski’s horse reintroduction program and an effective protection management, the Red deer population has been growing steadily. At that time there was a population of 50 Red deers, which now reaches over 1300 individuals. This represents a 26-fold increase over the past 25 years.
The same can be said about the Mongolian gazelle in HNP. There were none in the park at the beginning of the P-horse reintroduction program. In the mid 1990’s, a huge number of Mongolian gazelle migrated through HNP to the north. Several of them stayed, and their numbers have increased since with new migrants and now reaching over 500 individuals.
In the past, Argali wild sheep only passed through HNP during the spring and autumn migrations. In 2003, several of them reamined in HNP and now form a permanent population with a population of over 50 individuals recorded in 2015. These are few of the many added benefits correlated with the successful Przewalski’s horse reintroduction program and the effective nature conservation in the park.
The biggest carnivore of Mongolia is the gray wolf. Occurrence and frequency of gray wolves in HNP is high. Because of wolf attack, we lost number of Przewalski’s horse foals every year.
Siberian marmot was common in Mongolian steppe. But, number was dramatically declined due to frequency of drought and overhunting because of their fur and meat. Some researchers mentioned Siberian marmot is “steppe engineer”, because gray wolf, red fox, corsac fox, Pallas cat manul, hedgehog, and weathers are using their abandoned barrows. It is important species for reintroducing Przewalski’s horse in HNP. If their number decline in HNP, wolves may attack Przewalski’s horse foal more often.
Bird. There are 17 order, 43 family, 513 species of birds registered in Mongolia, from these, 17 order, 43 family, and 223 species of them exist in HNP. Rapid urbanization and cleaning carcasses to avoid infectious diseases, are the main reason behind bird of prey number declining in many countries. In contrast, Mongolia is the 19th largest and the most sparsely populated country in the world, with large number of livestock and mammals. That’s why Mongolia is the true heaven for birds of prey. Therefore raptor birds symbolizing Mongolian bird population.
Whooper swan is one of the most admired and beautiful bird in world. They are nestling near Tuul River which flows through southern part of HNP. During their moulting period, they lost their flying ability completely.
Amphibians and Reptiles. Four families, 9 species of amphibians registered in Mongolia and two families, 2 species of them exist in HNP. Six families, 22 species of amphibians registered in Mongolia and four families, 4 species of them exist in HNP.
Fish. Thirteen families, 64 species of fish registered in Mongolia and nine families, 16 species of them exist in HNP. You can find much more information from “Flowers of HNP”, “Birds of HNP” and “Fauna of HNP” field guide books.
Insects. According to monitoring, insects of 384 species, 90 families, 10 orders have been recorded in the HNP. However, species number will increase in the future. Among the insect species, plant eating insects are dominant, including Rhylloperthra horticola, Blaps rugosa, Carpocoris purpureipennis, Rhizofrogus solstitials, Hoplia aureda, Galeruca daurica, Gampsocleis sedakovi, Gomphocores sibiricus which are most dangerous to pasture vegetation. Some forest poisonous species such as larch badmoth, scarabaeid beetle, bark beetle and meloid beetles are increasingly growing in the forest and threatening forest future. Despite the frequent increase of grasshoppers in dry steppe, there are almost no serious poisonous insects for pasture plant. 20 species of ants have been identified in the HNP. New species, Proformica (s.str.) epinotalis, unknown to Mongolian ants list was found in Hustain Nuruu. The species Formica uralensis RUZS, F. and aquilonia cf. YARROW which listed in IUCN Red list in 1996 are found in the park. There are 253 species of butterflies have been registered in Mongolia and 55 species of them recorded in the park. Orthodeptera of 40 species of 21 families of 3 orders have been recorded in 2007-2009. In 2009, soil insects or microarthropods of the HNP were identified in 143 species, 48 families, 6 orders. In addition to these arthropods, new species, unknown to the world was found in the HNP and named Epidamaeus khustaiensis.