An American university will
join forces with Mongolian universities to study the diverse biology
found in Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park in southern Mongolia.
Researchers from the University
of Nebraska-Lincoln will work with the National University of Mongolia
to study the biodiversity of small mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians
and their parasites in Mongolia.
Called the Mongolian Vertebrate
Parasite Project for UNL, Scott L. Gardner, curator of the H.W. Manter
Laboratory of Parasitology at the University of Nebraska will lead the
In a statement released by
the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the program goals are described
as, “…by understanding which parasites these animals harbor, researchers
will have a better idea of the habits and interactions of these animals,
and identify emerging threats to wildlife or local people, Gardner said.
For example, researchers will examine the wildlife population for the
presence of parasites and viruses that can be agents of disease, including
hantavirus and tapeworms.”
Researchers and students will
spend three years exploring the 10,800-square-mile park to better understand
the diversity of species and the parasites that live in this area, and
how they interact with each other and their environment, according to