The site comprises an area of mountain forest steppe, grassland steppe and river valley, located in a southwestern extension of the Khentii Mountains. The central part of the site is mountainous with steep south-facing slopes and shallow north-facing slopes. The Tuul River runs to the south of the mountains, separated from them by areas of steppe and mountain steppe. There are also isolated forests of birch and aspen, mainly in the centre of the site. In 1993, the site was designated as a national park for the reintroduction of Przewalski's Wild Horse Equus przewalskii, which was once extinct in the wild. The site is a popular destination for domestic and foreign tourists due to the successful reintroduction project. The site was also designated as a biosphere reserve core area in 2003. Poaching for Siberian Marmot Marmota sibirica and Red Deer Cervus elaphus is the main threat to wildlife populations. Otherwise, the site is one of the best protected national parks in Mongolia.
The area is important for a variety of bird species during the breeding season and on migration, due to the diversity of habitats in a relatively small area. To date, a total of 169 bird species have been recorded. Globally Threatened species occurring at the site include Saker Falcon Falco cherrug (EN), Lesser Kestrel F. naumanni (VU) and Great Bustard Otis tarda (VU). Cinereous Vulture Aegypius monachus (NT) also occurs. The site also supports an assemblage of species restricted to the Eurasian steppe and desert biome.
Non-bird biodiversity: To date, two amphibian, three reptile, 44 mammal and 16 fish species have been recorded at the site. Globally Threatened mammal species found at the site include Przewalski’s Wild Horse (CR) and Siberian Marmot (EN). Other species listed in the Red Data Book of Mongolia include Red Deer, Eurasian Lynx Lynx lynx and Wild Boar Sus scrofa.
BirdLife International (2019) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Khustain Nuruu National Park. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 12/12/2019.