The site is composed of small lakes and a section of the Ulz River valley to the north, together with mountain steppe, forest steppe and grassland steppe to the south. Willow trees in the river valley provide good habitat for various bird species. Although Ugtam Mountain Nature Reserve is relatively well protected and threats are relatively low, there is very little active management at present. Livestock husbandry and hay making are the main land uses. There is also an active monastery on the mountain. Local residents use wood from forest for firewood and building livestock shelters. Forest fires occur frequently, and disturb the forest heavily.
Over 250 bird species have been recorded at the site. Globally Threatened species include Swan Goose Anser cygnoides (EN), Saker Falcon Falco cherrug (EN), Lesser Kestrel F. naumanni (VU), White-naped Crane Grus vipio (VU), Hooded Crane G. monacha (VU) and Great Bustard Otis tarda (VU). The site also supports breeding Black Storks Ciconia nigra, Steppe Eagles Aquila nipalensis and White-tailed Eagles Haliaeetus albicilla. In addition, the site meets the 1% threshold for Demoiselle Crane Anthropoides virgo, thousands of which occur here before migration. Furthermore, the site also meets the 1% threshold for White-naped Crane.
Non-bird biodiversity: Nationally threatened species that can be found at the site include Red Deer Cervus elaphus, Wild Boar Sus scrofa, Mongolian Gazelle Procapra gutturosa, Eurasian Lynx Lynx lynx, Pallas’s Cat Felis manul, Raccoon Dog Nyctereutes procyonoides and Daurian Hedgehog Mesechinus dauuricus. Large herds of Mongolian Gazelle migrate through the site in autumn and spring.
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Ugtam Nature Reserve. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 10/08/2020.