Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 591–613 | Cite as

Local community attitudes to wildlife utilisation in the changing economic and social context of Mongolia



In recent years illegal hunting has increased in Mongolia, putting considerable pressure on large mammals populations. The causes for this phenomenon lie in increasing rural poverty, ineffective policies to regulate hunting, as well as a ready market for many wildlife products in the Chinese medicine markets of east Asia. It is now accepted that biodiversity is ultimately lost or conserved at the local level and it is therefore imperative that the perspectives of the local people are better understood if wildlife management programmes are to be sustainable. This research uses a ‘grounded theory’ approach to investigate local community attitudes to wildlife utilisation and to explore what local people consider as a sustainable wildlife management strategy in remoter regions of Mongolia. The findings clearly suggest that the current situation is not conducive to sustainability either of wildlife populations or human livelihoods. Important changes are needed if sustainability is to be achieved, including alterations to property rights, greater government support, and improved marketing skills and employment opportunities from wildlife. Linked to all of the above points is the need to address the serious information deficit experienced in rural Mongolia to enable local people to examine critically the issues at hand and to participate actively in solutions.

Community attitudes Mongolia Poaching Wildlife utilisation 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. ADFAT (Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) 2000. Mongolia Country Fact Sheet. 12 December 2000 found on the web at http: // (accessed on 03/03/01).Google Scholar
  2. Becker P.H. 1993. Common pitfalls in published grounded theory research. Qualitative Health Research 3: 254–260.Google Scholar
  3. Bromley D.W. 1991. Environment and Economy: Property Rights and Public Policy. Blackwell, Oxford, UK.Google Scholar
  4. Finch C. 1995. Mongolia's Wild Heritage. In collaboration with the Mongolian Ministry of Nature and Environment.Google Scholar
  5. Glaser B.G. 1992. Basics of Grounded Theory Analysis. Sociology Press, Mill Valley, California.Google Scholar
  6. Glaser B.G. and Strauss A. 1967. Discovery of Grounded Theory. Aldine, Chicago, Illinois.Google Scholar
  7. Greenway P., Storey R. and Lafitte G. 1997. Mongolia Lonely Planet Series. Craft Print Pte Ltd., Singapore.Google Scholar
  8. Highley K. and Highley S.C. 2000. Bear Farming and Trade in China and Taiwan. Found on the web at http: / / bear.html (accessed on 13/08/01).Google Scholar
  9. Hulme D. and Murphree M. 2001. African Wildlife and Livelihoods: The Promise and Performance of Community Conservation. Heinemann, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.Google Scholar
  10. IFFN 2000. Community-based Wildfire Management in Mongolia.IFFN No. 23-December 2000, pp. 57–60. Found on the web at http: // 10.html-(accessed on 07/08/01).Google Scholar
  11. Inamdar A., Brown D. and Cobb S. 1999. What's Special About Wildlife Management in Forests? Concepts and Models of Rights-Based Management, With Recent Evidence from west-Central Africa. ODI Natural Resource Perspectives no. 44, June 1999.Google Scholar
  12. Mainka S.A. and Mills J.A. 1995. Wildlife and traditional Chinese medicine-supply and demand for wildlife species. Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicines 26: 193–206.Google Scholar
  13. Mills J.A., Can S. and Ishihara A. 1995. The Bear Facts: The East Asian Market for Bear Gall Bladder. A TRAFFIC Network report found on http: // (accessed on 15/08/01).Google Scholar
  14. MNE (Ministry of Nature and the Environment) 1998. Biological Diversity in Mongolia. MNE & UNDP Publication, Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia.Google Scholar
  15. Pimbert M. and Pretty J. 1995. Parks, People and Professionals: Putting Participation into Protected Area Management. UNRISD, IIED, WWF, London.Google Scholar
  16. Primack R.B. 1993. Essentials of Conservation Biology. Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, Massachusetts.Google Scholar
  17. Rana P.B. 1995. Reform Strategies in Transitional Economies: Lessons From Asia. World Development 23: 1157–1169.Google Scholar
  18. Soo Kuen Ing 1999. The Social Conditions of Wildfire in Mongolia. IFFN no. 21-September 1999, pp. 75–80. Found on the web at http: // 10.html-(accessed on 23/08/01).Google Scholar
  19. Strauss A. and Corbin J. 1998. Basics of Qualitative Research: Grounded Theory Procedures and Techniques. Sage, Newbury Park, California.Google Scholar
  20. 't Sas-Rolfes M. 1998. Who Will Save The Wild Tiger? Political Economic Research Centre. (accessed on 13/08/01).Google Scholar
  21. UNDP 2000. Mongolia's Wild Heritage. (accessed on 24/11/00).Google Scholar
  22. Williams M. 2000. Bone of Tiger, Bile of Bear. The Wild East: Traditional Chinese Medicine and Conservation. Found on the web at (accessed on 13/08/01).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Agriculture and ForestryUniversity of Aberdeen, AberdeenScotlandUK
  2. 2.Macaulay Land Use Research InstituteScotlandUK

Personalised recommendations