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Economy

Guardian dogs conserve ecology of Mongolian steppes

Livestock protection eases human pressure on predators and reduces overgrazing

A Bankhar dog with a Mongolian nomad family. (Courtesy of Mongolian Bankhar Dog Project)

ULAANBAATAR -- Bruce Elfstrom got a first-hand look at the fragility of Mongolian nomads' existence while producing a documentary in 2004.

Elfstrom, a biologist and outdoor adventurer, was camping with a film crew and some nomadic herder families on the vast steppes of rural Mongolia. He was awakened one freezing, star-filled night by the sound of slaughter. A wolf pack had attacked the grounds, killing 17 horses and 30 other animals.

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