Established in 1995, the Numrug National Park encompasses 582,200 hectares (or 1.44 million acres) of land in the most remote part of Eastern Mongolia. Eastern Mongolia is home to the Dornod steppes – uninhabited wild grasslands, roughly six times the size of Serengeti. It is one of the largest intact grassland ecosystems in the world. It is situated on the Mongolian Plateau with an average altitude of about 800 meters above sea level. The park has 493 different plant species, 251 birds, and 46 species of wild mammals. It’s home to some unique species like eastern moose, Pallas’s cat, Daurian hedgehog, and six species of cranes. Interestingly, freshwater monster fish, Taimen, is also found in the Halkh river due to its remote location.
Despite its significant size, the park is patrolled by five rangers, which means one ranger is responsible for an area of roughly 300,000 acres of land, and they do not have access to reliable transportation.
Dornod is home to over 1 million Mongolian Gazelle, a medium-sized antelope native to the semiarid Central Asian steppes of Mongolia and some parts of Siberia and China. The groups usually consist of 20-30 individuals in the summer and several hundred in the winter. However, herds of up to 30,000 individuals are not unusual.
Not long ago, a Chinese company started exploring oil in the central part of the Dornod steppes, disrupting the ecosystem and causing issues with dust and soil pollution along the transportation routes. Crude oil is being transported in tanker trucks across the Mongolian border.