MBDP Launches Indiegogo campaign for 2016 funds

For Immediate Release

Contact: Kate Fritz, press@bankhar.org (707)484-8885

Website: http://igg.me/at/bankhar, www.bankhar.org

NGO announces campaign to raise funds for one year of livestock protection dog breeding, training in Mongolia

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia—Mongolian Bankhar Dog Project (MBDP), a 501(c)3 non-profit that breeds, trains and places Bankhar livestock protection dogs with nomadic herder host families, has launched its Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to raise one year of operating funds. The campaign can be accessed at http://igg.me/at/bankhar. The organization has bred and trained its first litters of Bankhar pups and placed them with partners in Gorkhi Terelj National Park and Hutsai National Park. MBDP staff are currently collecting data on the performance of the first litters of dogs that will inform the development of future programs, and show which aspects of the program and training regime are most effective. MBDP is supported by its partner organizations Snow Leopard Trust and Institute of Canine Biology.

Contributors to the Indiegogo campaign will be able to “adopt a dog”, get an original Mongolian oil painting in a traditional style, get access to radio collar tracking data that shows the relationship between that livestock protection dog and a predator in the area, such as a wolf or a snow leopard. Organizations that contribute can become partners to MBDP and be listed on the campaign page and the organization’s website. The crème de la crème reward is a trip for two to Mongolia lead by biologist and professional expedition leader Bruce Elfström. Elfström is also the Executive Director of MBDP.

Organizations in other parts of the world, like South Africa and the western USA that have livestock guardian dog breeding and placement programs show that the dogs contribute to a range of environmental and cultural benefits to hosts. These include increases in the populations of rare predators like big cats, wolves, bears and eagles, the ability for herders to remain practicing their nomadic lifestyle and culture, and even slowing or even halting desertification in their region.

Predation and desertification are both major problems in the areas where MBDP places its dogs. Says MBDP Director Bruce Elfström, “When host families suddenly have access to the non-lethal protection of Bankhar, they are able to keep smaller herds. They’re simply not going to lose as many animals to wolves and snow leopards.” Smaller herds mean less stress on the delicate grassland ecosystem where herders graze their flocks. Overgrazing, exacerbated by climate change, has been the primary contributor to desertification in the region over the past two decades. MBDP anticipates that placing Bankhar with families in critical areas will have a positive effect on both.

MBDP’s Indiegogo campaign will run from August 20 to October 1, with the aim of raising enough funds to support two field staff in Mongolia and funds for veterinary care, food, and supplies for the dog training and breeding program, and for research of the currently running placement programs – the organization aims to raise 60,000USD. Additional information available on the organization’s Indiegogo page, website, Facebook and twitter (@bankhardog)

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