Livestock and wildlife graze on rangelands, grasslands, savannas and marshes that cover 45 percent of Earth's land surface. Damage or degradation on these lands is a major concern globally, and the subject of widespread scientific study in countries including Mongolia. An estimated 70 percent of the rangelands in Mongolia are damaged by livestock and unregulated land use. But new research found less irreversible damage -- up to 10 percent at most -- from livestock in Mongolia's rangelands. This positive news is countered by findings that show key areas in the country may be reaching a tipping point of irreversible damage. The research team hopes the findings will generate greater understanding about the deterioration of what Mongolia's citizens call the "green gold," or vast grasslands that cover three-quarters of the country.
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