The site comprises Khasagt Khairkhan Mountain and its southern foothills. Khasagt Khairkhan is an isolated massif of the Mongol Altai mountain range that extends into the Great Lakes Basin. It is separated from main Altai mountains by Sharga and Khuisiin Gobi, and from Khangai mountains by Guzeen Teel valley and the Zavkhan River. Mountainous areas are barren, with rocky outcrops and cliffs. In general, there is a strong altitudinal habitat change. Forests are distributed on high upland areas, up to 2,800 m, mostly on north-facing slopes. There are also alpine meadows and alpine steppe in upland areas. Lower elevations are characterised by steppe and semidesert vegetation, with sparse or dense bushes. Poaching for rare animals is a major threat. There is competition for grazing areas between livestock and wildlife at low and mid-elevations.
Globally Threatened species occurring at the site are Saker Falcon Falco cherrug (EN), Lesser Kestrel F. naumanni (VU), Houbara Bustard Chlamydotis undulata (VU) and White-throated Bushchat Saxicola insignis (VU). Cinereous Vulture Aegypius monachus (NT), Himalayan Griffon Gyps himalayensis and Altai Snowcock Tetraogallus altaicus also occur. The bird communities of the lower foothills and steppe areas are a good example of the Eurasian steppe and desert biome, with such biomerestricted species as Pallas’s Sandgrouse Syrrhaptes paradoxus, Mongolian Ground Jay Podoces hendersoni, Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii, Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis, Demoiselle Crane Anthropoides virgo and Pied Wheatear Oenanthe pleschanka.
Non-bird biodiversity: There are many rare and threatened wildlife species at the site. In mountainous areas, there are Snow Leopard Uncia uncia (EN), Siberian Ibex Capra sibirica, Argali Ovis ammon (NT), Red Deer Cervus elaphus and Stone Marten Martes foina. In lower-lying steppe and semi-desert habitats, Goitered Gazelle Gazella subgutturosa (VU), Pallas’s Cat Felis manul (NT), Eurasian Lynx Lynx lynx and Siberian Marmot Marmota sibirica (EN) occur.
BirdLife International (2019) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Khasagt Khairkhan Mountain. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/04/2019.