The University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Nevada-Reno, and the University of California-Davis, and the Mongolian Institute of Geoecology have partnered as a research team in a conservation effort to sustainably protect Mongolia's giant salmonid, Hucho taimen, through operation of fishing concessions. This 5-year program will be the most extensive study of Hucho taimen ever conducted. The study will assess population status, migrations, threats to populations, and the role of taimen as a part of the broader ecosystem. Information produced by the science team will be used to develop a natural resource management plan for the region.
Dr. Jim Thorne participated in the beginning of a study of the effects of gold mine operations on the world's largest salmon, Hucho taimen, a fish that grows to 2m long in the rivers of Mongolia. We conducted a 2 week survey up one of the rivers, measuring water quality above and below mine areas, conducting interviews with local people, and sampling for fish in a variety of ways. We were led by Dr. Sudeep Chandra, now at University of Nevada/Reno, and joined by two Mongolian scientists from the Institute for Geo-Ecology. Dr. Thorne's participation was to add a GIS component to the project. He will be producing maps for the project. Although Dr. Chandra has received funding for his component of the 5 year study, Dr. Thorne is actively raising funds for travel costs associated with this trip.