We develop policy recommendations for bustard conservation that are founded on scientific research and effective in the local cultural and economic context.

The Great Bustard is classified as globally Vulnerable by IUCN due to observed and projected population declines, particularly in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, where Great Bustards have disappeared from large portions of their former range.

Our team works to expand knowledge about poorly understood populations of this species in Mongolia and Kazakhstan, where the species is included on Red Lists (endangered species lists). Local ornithologists estimate that Central Asian Great Bustards number 1600 in Mongolia and 300 in Kazakhstan – low numbers considering the size of these two countries, their low human population density, and the extent of potentially suitable habitat.

There is urgency for research on these Asian populations of Great Bustards, which differ substantially in aspects of their natural history from better-known European populations. Great Bustards are at risk during the rapid changes taking place in the countries of Central Asia, which are transitioning from communism to a free-market economy.

Our team is making important progress on the path to understanding the natural history and risks to these populations of Great Bustards. Learn more about our research activities, including population surveys, satellite tracking, and population genetic analyses.

We work closely with local non-governmental organizations and biologists, with whom we collaborate to develop conservation recommendations and take conservation actions. Our preliminary recommendations have already been incorporated into project and policy documents, and important territories for these birds have been listed with the government for protection. A sensitive and wary animal, the Great Bustard serves as an indicator species for healthy steppe ecosystems and a flagship species for steppe conservation projects, and our project provides baseline information about its populations in the region.

Current Research Directions

Population Surveys
Satellite Tracking
Population Genetic Analyses
Meet the Bustards We’re Tracking

Research Publications

Recent Research News