In 1997 a research station was established within the framework of the university partnership between Georg-August-Universität and the National University of Mongolia (through its Faculty of Biology) which is funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). The German Volkswagen-Foundation and the German BMBF (Government Ministry of Scientific Research and Education) financed the establishment of the station, which is now under the responsibility of Göttingen, paying recurrent costs for infrastructure.
Khonin Nuga is a valley in the West-Khentey region of Northern Mongolia . It is situated in the buffer zone of the Strictly Protected Area of Khan Khentey where the two rivers Sharlan and Hong meet and create the river Eroo, the upper part of the drainage system of lake Baikal. The station is located at N 49°05’17’’ and E 107°17’36’’, 930 m a.s.l.. The Khentey Mountains of Northern Mongolia, where the Siberian forest belt borders the steppe, represent a unique and greatly untouched ecosystem. Altogether 15 000 km² of primeval forest and grassland are completely protected by law.
Important equipment comprises now 5 wood houses for research in Khonin Nuga, 3 wood houses for research and accommodation at the hot springs (about 30 km east of Khonin Nuga in a different ecological zone), 5 Mongolian gers, solar energy for basic electricity, 1 Russian microbus, 1 jeep, 18 horses, several scientific tools to capture and measure small animals alive, several scientific measuring instruments, and few books for identification of plants and several animal groups.
One person is employed for cars, mechanics, and guarding the station, and one person works in the common kitchen. Assistance for excursions is provided by the local ranger of the Strictly Protected Area of Khan Khentey (Ranger Myagmasuren). To become independent from short-term project money and thus to ensure long-term survival and continuance the station is run at relatively low cost. The German Technical Cooperation (GTZ, Nature Conservation and Bufferzone Development Project/Principal Adviser Dr. Hans Hoffmann) are supportive.