The biggest steppe in Mongolia that located in eastern Mongolia
The Menen Steppe, encompassing the largest and most expansive grassland in Mongolia, stretches an impressive 90 kilometers in length and 60 kilometers in width. Situated approximately 805 kilometers east of Ulaanbaatar and 150 kilometers southeast of CHoibalsan town in Dornod Province, this captivating landscape is characterized by its unique geographical features.
The steppe finds itself encircled by the serene Khalkh river, the majestic Khayngan range, and the Dariganga steppe, which boasts ancient dormant volcanoes. Within its vast expanse, the Menen Steppe showcases a quintessential steppe landscape, adorned with vibrant mat-grasses, and serves as the cherished abode of numerous antelope species. In fact, a remarkable 70% of Mongolia’s total antelope population thrives within this extraordinary ecosystem, which currently stands at an impressive 1.2 million according to recent research.
Varied and captivating wildlife abundantly populates the steppe, including pikas, hedgehogs, hares, wolves, foxes, musk deer, badgers, and an array of antelope species. The Menen Steppe itself is divided into two distinct parts: the northern steppe of the Kherlen river and the steppe of Tamsag.
The sprawling northern steppe of Kherlen river spans from the mentioned river to the northern border of Mongolia. Characterized by a generally even surface, small low ridges, highlands, and occasional low dips hosting saline lakes, the steppe’s absolute altitude ranges from 560 to 1200 meters. The lowest point within Mongolian territory lies at 560 meters, adorned by lush mat-grasses.
On the other hand, the steppe of Tamsag extends from Choibalsan town to the Khalkh river and Khayngan range in the south of the Kherlen river. This section of the steppe affords a strikingly even surface, with highlands and low dips rarely dotting the landscape. The absolute altitude here oscillates between 600 and 800 meters, while the dominant flora includes mat-grasses, wormwoods, and couch grass.
To safeguard the precious mat grass ecosystem and protect the thriving antelope populations, the Eastern Mongolian Strictly Protected Area was established in 1992. This sanctuary encompasses the Erdenetsagan sum of Sukhbaatar province, as well as the Matad and Khalkh gol sums of Dornod Province.