The dogs saving Mongolia’s grasslands

The bankhar, an ancient livestock guardian dog, is being reintroduced to Mongolia’s steppe to protect livestock and reduce conflict between traditional herders and apex predators, including wolves and snow leopards.

Herd animals have tripled in number in recent years, leading to overgrazing. Cashmere herders are keeping more goats to compensate for losses caused by increasingly severe weather. For centuries, bankhar dogs were a traditional herder’s companion - today they represent hope in the fight to save the grasslands from desertification. I embedded with the Mongolia Bankhar Dog Project on a road trip across Mongolia, sharing a car with eleven oversized puppies, delivering them to select nomadic herder families as an incentive for sustainable pasture use.

The resulting film won prizes at both the International Photography Awards and Chromatic Awards, was an Xposure Short Film Award Nominee and selected for the Royal Geographical Society and Forestry England's Earth Photo exhibition.