Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/. On August 9, Minister of
Environment and Tourism B.Bat-Erdene received President and CEO of the International
Crane Foundation Rich Beilfuss and Asia Grants Office Claire Mirande.

During the meeting, an agreement of cooperation was signed
between the International Crane Foundation and the Ministry of Environment and
Tourism. Within the agreement, the foundation will partner with the Wildlife
Science and Conservation Center of Mongolia to manage Khurkh-Khuiten Nature
Reserve, which protects important breeding grounds for the declining
White-naped Crane.

The Khurkh-Khuiten River Valleys in Northeast Mongolia is a
diverse ecosystem supporting a mix of grasslands and wetlands that provide a
haven for the world’s most important breeding concentration of Vulnerable
White-naped Cranes.

International organizations widely recognize the site for
its rich biodiversity and outstanding wetlands. The area was designated as a
Ramsar Site in 2004 for its international importance to migratory birds. Khurkh-Khuiten has also been formally declared a national-level nature reserve,
covering almost 200,000 hectares, securing one of the world’s core breeding
areas for the declining White-naped Cranes.

Established in 1971, the International Crane Foundation
works in more than 50 countries to conserve cranes and the ecosystems,
watersheds and flyways on which they depend.