On or around March 28th the Mongolian government began enforcing new regulations applying to research permits that involve the tagging or marking of animals. These new regulations affect both Mongolian and international researchers. Previously researchers applied directly to the Ministry of Nature and Environment for research permits, but the new regulations now require a preliminary review and approval of research proposals at the Academy of Sciences.
Initial experience with some individual researchers and organizations indicate that the new regulations are not being enforced effectively and there is significant ambiguity about the process and responsibilities. Although based on limited information, it appears that the new regulations have effectively ground all new permit applications to a halt. Researchers planning to conduct biological work in Mongolia in the near future should be sure to check with their local counterparts to verify whether their research will be affected by these new regulations.