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Uvs Lake

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West Mongolia

In the summer, Uvs Nuur is home to a large number of gulls and migratory birds. This massive lake (80 kilometers broad and 80 kilometers long) is 28 kilometers northeast of Ulaangom. Despite its modest elevation, it is one of the coldest areas in the country throughout the winter. The Uvs Nuur basin is characterized by great ecological diversity in a relatively restricted zone, including desert, marsh, dunes, semi-desert, steppe, taiga, tundra, and glaciers. As a result, it has been selected as one of 10 global locations for an international biosphere research initiative. Since 1993, four strictly protected zones have been established throughout the basin. Uvs Nuur, Mount Tsagaan Shuvuut, Mount Turgen, and Altan Els are among the zones. The world’s northernmost desert meets the world’s southernmost tundra zone here. Temperatures can range from 58°C in winter to 47°C in summer since the basin spans the geo-climatic border between Siberia and Central Asia.
The depression is home to 173 bird species and 41 mammal species, including the globally endangered snow leopord, argali, and ibex, despite its harsh climate. The Uvs Lake Basin was designated as a natural World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2003.
It was named “one of Central Asia’s greatest preserved watersheds,” with 40,000 archaeological sites from historically notable nomadic tribes including the Turks and Huns. This trans-boundary patrimony is one of the most extensive sites ever included on the World Heritage List.