SNOW LEOPARDS, BEARS AND WOLVES IN MONGOLIA

SNOW LEOPARDS IN MONGOLIA

There are around 800 to 1,700 snow leopards in Mongolia (one forth to one seventh of the world population). Most are found in the Altai mountains of western Mongolia, where they have traditionally hunted ibex and argali sheep and marmots. Due to recent heavy poaching in Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia is home to world’s second largest population of snow leopards after China. probably holds 800 to 1,700. [Source: Douglas H. Chadwick, National Geographic, June 2008 \~\]

Reporting from the Altai region, Douglas H. Chadwick wrote in National Geographic: One winter Dashdavaa Khulaa, a park ranger in the Turgen Range, watched a herd of 27 ibex take shelter in a cliff-face cave. A mother snow leopard with two partly grown cubs followed them in. Only 24 ibex made it out.

Snow leopards often take livestock and are regarded as threats by herders. One man who lost his horse to a snow leopard told the Wall Street Journal, “We didn’t have guns, but if we had of course we would have killed the snow leopard.”

Snow leopards pelts sold for about $400 at local bazaars in the 1990s. Snow leopard pelts have traditionally been used in some shamanist rituals.

Snow Leopard Conservation in Mongolia

Douglas H. Chadwick wrote in National Geographic: "We don't have enough staff to protect their core wildlands from heavy livestock grazing, poaching, forest fires, and illegal woodcutting," explained Mantai Khavalkhan, the superintendent of four reserves in Mongolia's Altay region. Yet the cat Khavalkhan called "the most secret of animals" appears to be holding its own where conservation efforts have won local support. [Source: Douglas H. Chadwick, National Geographic, June 2008 \~\]

Though the Turgen Range, part of the Altay Mountains, saw some heavy wildlife poaching in the past, it has become a stronghold for ibex and their predators. One of the reasons is a grassroots antipoaching patrol in the Altay region known as the Snow Leopard Brigade. Ganbold Bataar, former director of Mongolia's national park system here in the province of Uvs, is its founder and current chief.\~\

"With two employees for this whole province, we couldn't hope to keep up," Bataar said. "But we have more than 290 volunteers here." They were local herders, and their eyes were everywhere in the countryside. Whoever turned in a poacher stood to gain 15 percent of the fine as a reward. But that wasn't always the main incentive. Toward evening, three horsemen driving their flocks home galloped over to visit our camp. They all considered themselves volunteer members of the antipoaching brigade. They knew the mother snow leopard well. She'd had three new cubs the previous year, they said. The two from her earlier litter had gone off to establish territories of their own on the mountain slopes just across the river. One had appeared prowling the iron-red ledges there just recently. One of the horsemen said simply, "I'm proud to live in a place with snow leopards." \~\

Herder-Community-Based Snow Leopard Conservation in Mongolia

As part of an effort to save snow leopards organized by a Mongolian-based organization called Irbis, herders sign a contract promising not to kill snow leopards or their sources of food, ibex and argali sheep. In return the herders are taught skills—such as knitting cashmere sweaters and making felt chairs—that they can use to earns money and markets the products over the Internet and at zoo stores. Bonuses are paid if no snow leopards are not killed. As of 2002, no snow leopards had been reported killed in places the Irbis program was in effect after three years. Most area monitored by Irbis show no drops in the snow leopard populations. In a couple of areas there has actually been a rise. For their part may herders have been able to double their yearly income through the sale of crafts.

On a similar program, Douglas H. Chadwick wrote in National Geographic: A small, soft-spoken woman named Bayarjargal Agvaantseren has found another way to enlist local communities in conservation. Twice every year, this former schoolteacher sets out from the Mongolian capital, Ulaanbaatar, to visit some of the 24 herder communities she has engaged in a handicrafts project tagged Snow Leopard Enterprises (SLE), a program of the Snow Leopard Trust. [Source: Douglas H. Chadwick, National Geographic, June 2008 \~\]

“Most herder families used to sell the soft underfur of goats—cashmere—to middlemen, earning about $600 a year. Thanks to Agvaantseren, women in the community now also make an array of products using wool from their goats, sheep, yaks, and camels: skeins of soft yarn, felt and decorative rugs, seat pads, children's booties, or Christmas tree ornaments shaped like snow leopards and ibex. My favorites were doll mice with whiskers of stiff yak tail hair—toys for little cats, designed to save big ones. \~\

“Through Agvaantseren, the organization buys these items from herding families and arranges to market them abroad. Participants must first sign a pledge to preserve snow leopards and their prey and to encourage neighbors to do the same. The arrangement boosts incomes by 10 to 15 percent, which elevates the status of the women and translates into more emphasis on education and health care. If no one in the community kills protected species over the course of a year, the program members receive a 20 percent bonus.\~\

“In one of Agvaantseren's communities, a winter village of herders in far northwestern Mongolia, a lively scene of trade took place on the floor of a ger heated by a stove fueled with yak dung. A Khazakh woman named Saulekhan Kekei had brought 17 felt rugs made over 68 days. She had six children and an ill husband to support. Those rugs would bring the equivalent of nearly three months' wages in her job as a janitor and guard at the village school. "I own only 12 sheep," Saulekhan said. "I have to buy wool from neighbors. But I am able to provide for everyone at home now and pay for my eldest daughter to go to college." \~\

An independent review in 2006 found no poaching of snow leopards in areas where SLE operates. Agvaantseren just added eight more communities and intends to expand a microcredit scheme that lets members borrow at a discount to buy items such as spinning wheels or material to improve corrals. "People hear good reports from neighbors, and they come to us now asking how to join," she said.” \~\

Gobi Bear

The Gobi bear (Ursus arctos gobiensis, known in Mongolian as the mazaalai) is a desert-dwelling subspecies of the brown bear. Based on morphological similarities, it is sometimes classified as being of the same subspecies as the Tibetan blue bear and is believed by some to represent a relict population of the blue bear. More often the Gobi bear is classified as its own subspecies, and closely resembles other Asian brown bears.

Gobi Bear are perhaps the most endangered bear species. There are only about 50 of them. They live in a corner of the Gobi desert. According to the Gobi Bear Project Team: Gobi bears are listed as Critically Endangered in the Mongolian Redbook of Endangered Species and by. by the Zoological Society of London using IUCN standards, This assessment was based on estimates that the population included less than 50 adult animals, and were separated by enough distance from other closely genetically-related populations that immigration/emigration would not reasonably be expected to occur. It is included as an Appendix I species (critically threatened with extinction) under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), to which Mongolia is a signatory country. No Gobi bears are known to exist in captivity anywhere in the world. [Source:Gobi Bear Project Team , Ulaanbaatar Mongolia, July 2010]

Gobi bears persist as a unique ecotype in the Gobi Desert of southwestern Mongolia. They are superbly adapted to low food availability and harsh environment of the Gobi Desert, where annual temperature may vary between 46̊C in summer to -34̊C in winter. Also known as “Mazaalai” and regarded as a national treasure by Mongolians, Gobi bears occupy three main areas, or oasis complexes, within the 45,784-km2 Great Gobi Strictly Protected Area (GGSPA, Zone “A”): Atas Bogd Mountain, Shar Khuls Oasis, and Tsagaan Bogd Mountain. Each oasis complex is comprised of seven or more springs of various sizes, separated by about 70-100 km from the adjacent complex.

Prior to the 1970’s, Gobi bear distribution in southwestern Mongolia extended beyond its present confines and included areas adjacent to the GGSPA to the north and east. This area encompassed Edriin Ridge, the Eej Khayrkhan Nature Reserve to the west of Bayantoorai, and portions of Gurvan Saykhan National Park to the east. The reasons that these areas are no longer occupied are not known.

Rangers of the Great Gobi Strictly Protected Area reported that the area experienced a 14-year drought from 1993-2007, in which annual precipitation declined from approximately 100 mm to 50 mm. Because Gobi bears are heavily dependent upon vegetation that requires precipitation for growth and fruiting, the drought may have affected body condition and reproductive success of bears during this period.

Gobi Bear Characteristics

According to the Gobi Bear Project Team: Gobi bears subsist primarily on roots, berries, other vegetation, insects and occasionally rodents. However, unlike other brown bear subspecies no evidence was found that they kill or scavenge carcasses of ibex, argali, wild camels, and wild ass that occur in the GGSPA. While this may be a nutritional disadvantage, as a result they do not prey on livestock that are important to herders in the region. [Source: Gobi Bear Project Team , Ulaanbaatar Mongolia, July 2010]

Gobi bears are small compared to most other members of the brown bear family; female adults weigh only 51-78 kilograms and males only 96-138 kilograms. Their fur is light brown in color, but with a noticeably darker head, belly and legs. Patches or natural collars of lighter fur is often present on the neck or shoulder of individuals are also a distinguishing characteristic (Anon 1988).

To effectively accomplish recovery and conservation of the Gobi bear, its taxonomic status needs to be confirmed. Based on their morphology and habitat references, some scientists have classified the Gobi bear as a separate and distinct species, Ursus gobiensis (Sokolov and Orlov 1992). Others classify them at the subspecies level, such as Ursus arctos pruinosus (Zhirnov and Ilyinski, 1986) or Ursus arctos gobiensis (Red Book 1997). Still others suggest that the Gobi bear is closely related to brown bears that occupy the nearby Tian Shan Mountains, U. arctos isabellinus (Galbreath et al. 2007, McCarthy et al. 2009), or even the Tibetan bear of the Altai Mountains, U. arctos arctos (Schaller et al. 1993).

Using genetic analyses of hair samples McCarthy et al, (1996) found that the Gobi bear occupies a separate clade, different from that found in the bears of Europe, Russia, Alaska and Western Canada. This analysis indicated that the Gobi bear was separate and distinct from the other brown bears of Europe and North America. However, the authors also suggested that additional genetic sampling and analysis is needed, using noninvasive collection techniques (i.e. samples taken without disturbing or harming the animal), in order to further refine taxonomic status of the Gobi bear. Based on these same collections, McCarthy et al. (2009) concluded that Gobi bears are genetically isolated, making them a single conservation unit (Moritz 1994, Palsboll et al. 2007), which provides additional support for classifying their conservation status as Critically Endangered.

In the early 1990’s, in an effort to improve the nutritional status of the bears, supplemental pelletized feed composed of grains were provided at feeders near major springs in the GGSPA. This supplemental fodder was primarily provided during March or early April, when the bears emerge from winter dens. Beginning in 2005, feeders were placed at additional sites and when funding was available, additional fodder was provided during autumn in some years.

Because of their present low population size, restricted range and limited available habitat, further declines may occur. However, if effective conservation efforts are applied, Gobi bears have a much greater chance for recovery.

Wolves in Mongolia

There are many wolves in Mongolia. Sometimes dogs have their ears cut off and have spiked collars for protection against wolves. Some foreigners who come to Mongolia are hunters who come to go after wolves in the Altai mountains. Wolves skeletons found on the steppe often have certain bones missing. Traditionally, male Mongolians have taken ankle bones as totems or charms. The number of wolves has increased since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Some have speculated that declining numbers of endangered animals may be as much the result of wolves as it is of hunters and poachers. Animal herders are not happy about the presence of wolves either.

According to White Wolf Pack: The Mongolian wolf is also known as the Tibetan wolf or as the subspecies of the Gray Wolf - Canis Lupus Chanco. It is a smaller wolf than it's cousin the Gray wolf and usually only weighs about 45 kilograms. It also goes by the nickname of the Woolly Wolf because of it's dense undercoat. It is native to Central Asia and ranges from Turkestan, throughout Tibet to Mongolia, northern China, the western Himalayas in Kashmir and even as far as the Korean peninsula. Currently there are about 70,000 Mongolian wolves in the area. Normally these wolves do not form large packs but tend to travel in numbers of 2 or 3. They feed mostly on hares throughout the year, marmots in summer, and due to the lack of mobility through the deep snow in the winter, they will also hunt goats and sheep if available. [Source:White Wolf Pack /*/]

As for it's appearance it resembles the Eurasian Wolf but has shorter legs. It's muzzle is however almost identical to the Eurasian wolf. It also has very striking gold eyes that seem to look right through you, and are quite mesmerizing. The Mongolian orTibetan wolf is thought by some scientists to be the most likely ancestor of the domestic dog. This is because of its small size and mandible morphology, noting that the uppermost part of the lower jaw is turned back on both the Mongolian wolf and the dog, but is not found in other Gray wolf subspecies. /*/

The Mongolian wolf has and still does play an important role in Mongolian culture. It is believed that Ghengis Khan and the Mongols were descendants of their spiritual ancestor the Mongolian wolf. As was written in the book, “The Secret History of Ghengis Khan,” the wolves were respected for their power, stealth, and tenacity. Because the Mongolians were herders and hunters, they had great respect for the wolf as a powerful and skilled hunter. Even today in Mongolia, the wolves are still very respected. There is a belief that no one can see a wolf unless he or she is that wolf’s equal, and you cannot kill a wolf unless it chooses to submit to you. /*/

Wolves have been hunted in the past because some viewed them as a threat to livestock. In the recent past, up to 5,000 wolves a year were hunted and killed.

Wolves in Northern Mongolia

While traveling with some nomads in northern Mongolia's Darhad valley, Glenn Hodges wrote in National Geographic: “On the second day we're playing cards by the woodstove when son Davaanyam bursts into the ger. "Wolves are chasing the horses," he says. The herd was behind the hill last night, but he's spotted wolf tracks—"the size of a palm"—and the horses are nowhere to be seen. He was out looking for a couple of hours, but it's bitterly cold, and he decided he'd better suit up and eat something before he heads out to find them. They could be a half day's ride away by now. [Source: Glenn Hodges, National Geographic, October 2003 /=/]

“Davaanyam grabs a .22 rifle, and we saddle up our horses, which were tied up apart from the main herd. As we ride up the mountain behind the ger, I finally get a taste of how punishing this life can be. The wind is fierce and frigid, and my face goes from stung to numb in seconds. The terrain is steep and slowgoing in the slick snow, and I'm profoundly relieved when Davaanyam spots the horses clustered near the top of a distant ridge. We circle around and ride up the back side of the ridge so we don't scare them in the wrong direction, and there we find wolf tracks. Nyamhuu, the wrangler, grabs the rifle, and we take off on foot, my translator, Achit, and I huffing and puffing behind him. The tracks go around a rock outcropping and then double over our tracks. The wolves have been following us! /=/

“But for some reason, it seems, they've thought better of it and disappeared. Nyamhuu keeps hoping to find them in his sights somewhere on the slopes, but he'll go home without a trophy, and no one's complaining: All 30 horses are present and accounted for. We're lucky. "Every year a few horses get eaten," Davaanyam says.” /=/

Hunting Wolves with Golden Eagles in Central Asia

Kyrgyz and Kazakhs in Mongolia use golden eagles to hunt wolves. The eagle hunters usually go after foxes and other relatively small mammals but occasionally catch wolves. On a video about golden eagles hunting wolves, Hal Foster wrote in Tengri News: “ The video... has no script. It consists of scene after scene of eagles swooping down on wolves. The only sound is a throat singer’s guttural wailing. Two things in the footage astonished me. First, the wolves the eagles are hunting are full-grown, not cubs or teen-agers. [Source: Hal Foster, Tengri News, October 30, 2013]

“I know a golden eagle is a massive bird, but a full-grown wolf can weigh 100 pounds. Yet the eagles are killing the wolves, not just giving them a dusting-off. And unlike rabbits or most of the other prey that eagles go after, wolves have the equipment to fight back – nasty sets of teeth. Yet the eagles get the best of them anyway.For me the highlight of the video is a hefty wolf giving a golden eagle a really good fight – until a second eagle swoops down to help its mate. At which point, the wolf is a goner. The lesson is that an adult wolf has no chance against an adult golden eagle. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen the video.

The use of raptors in the hunting of wolves is primarily practised in Central Asia. The Kyrgyz people have traditionally used golden eagles, known as berkut, to hunt wolves. In the past, wolf pelts provided material for clothes crucial for the survival of the nomadic people in the severe colds. The eagles are used to immobilize the wolves by placing one foot at the back of the neck and another at the flank closer to the heart and lungs. Hunters usually only use eagles against pups, as an adult wolf can cripple in combat even a highly experienced eagle. Losing even one toe or talon will significantly lower the eagle's ability to tackle prey. Only a minor injury to the sinew of a foot may leave the eagle incapable of further hunting. As a wolf is capable of resisting even the best-trained bird, the falconer always keeps near, ready at the first opportunity to help the eagle. This is done carefully, as the wolf, sensing human presence, fights desperately to tear loose from the bird's talons, and the eagle can be severely injured. Because of the violent nature of their work, eagles trained to hunt wolves have shorter life spans. [Source: Wikipedia]

Using Eagles to Hunt Wolves

Darren Naish wrote in Tetrapod Zoology, “Eagles can be trained, of course, meaning that people can get them to do remarkable things that seem contrary to sensible behaviour: they can use them to hunt wolves, for example. The Kirghiz tribesmen of central Asia have long been known to use Golden eagles to catch wolves, and in fact Marco Polo (c. 1254-1324) wrote of “a great number of eagles, all trained to catch wolves, foxes, deer and wild goats”. This would have been some time in the 1270s, when Polo was in his twenties. John Love, in his 1989 book on eagles, wrote of a Kirghizian eagle that captured 14 wolves in a day. The precise role of these wolf-hunting eagles has been some somewhat uncertain, in the literature at least. [Source: Darren Naish, Tetrapod Zoology, Science Blogs, December 10, 2010 *=*]

“Some authors state that the eagle’s job is not to kill the wolf, but to hold it down until its trainer is able to arrive (on horseback) and dispatch the wolf with a knife. However, as is illustrated by the fact that Golden eagles can kill mammals bigger and heavier than wolves by a powerful strike directed at the back of the skull, a trained eagle would in fact be able to kill even an adult wolf if it approached quickly enough and struck the wolf, from behind, in the right place. Accordingly, other authors state that the eagle’s role is to kill – rather than just pin down – the wolf. Wikipedia’s entry on this subject states that “These eagles are so fast and powerful that they are capable of killing a fully grown wolf by diving at speed and striking the wolf on the back of the head or neck” [the adjacent photo shows the skin of a wolf, killed by an eagle, hanging on the outside of the house of a Kazakh hunter. Photo courtesy of S. Bodio]. Indeed, I know from film I’ve seen that the eagles certainly can and do kill the wolves during these hunts. *=*

“Some wolves prove particularly challenging quarry, however, and there is the tale of one that foiled the attempts of 11 eagles – killing each one – until it was finally dispatched thanks to the efforts of a twelfth eagle. Love (1989) intimated that wolf-hunting with eagles is all but extinct in modern times but, as you can see from this 2006 blog post by Steve Bodio (and from his 2003 book Eagle Dreams: Searching for Legends in Wild Mongolia), this is certainly not true. And if you’re sceptical of the existence of wolf-killing eagles (for reasons I cannot quite understand, some people are), there are a few graphic youtube videos: this is the most informative one (definitely NOT to be viewed by people with an overly sympathetic view of nature). *=*

“I said at the start that the idea of an eagle attacking a wolf might seem “contrary to sensible behaviour”. But, as people who know eagles will tell you, this doesn’t mean that it doesn’t, or can’t, happen on occasion in the wild. Golden eagles can and do definitely kill coyotes and foxes, so the idea of one making a mistake, or just being bold enough, to try and take out a wolf is not far-fetched. It might not go to plan for the eagle*, but animals frequently make mistakes, and raptors are by nature remarkably bold and sure of their abilities. And remember that some Golden eagles have become confident, regular predators of large mammals: the individuals in New Mexico that took to killing domestic cattle killed at least six calves and injured 48 (yes, forty-eight) during 1987, 1988 and 1989** before they were captured and removed (Phillips et al. 1996). *=*

“What else might be possible? There are various anecdotes of eagles that were trained to kill horses and donkeys, and of course there are all those tales of eagles attacking people (adults as well as children). Steve Bodio told me about a case from Kazakhstan where a Golden eagle tried to take a Snow leopard, but the cat won. And there are also authenticated cases of eagles attacking planes and gliders...The idea of big eagles attacking people is typically regarded as fairytale nonsense. It isn’t.” *=*

Wolf Totem

The novel Wolf Totem has been one of the best selling books in China in recent years and won the Man Asian Literature Prize. Written by Jiang Ring, a former Red Guard who spent much of the 1970s in Inner Mongolia, it is about a man much like the author who is sent to Inner Mongolia to teach the herdsmen there. During his stay he is the one who receives an education--about life on the steppe, especially wolves who are despised for killing the herdsmen's animals but are revered. Central episodes include adoption of a wolf cub by the main character and a ferocious battle between a starving wolf pack and a herd of wild horses. The book has also recently been translated into English by Howard Goldblatt.

Howard Y. F. Choy of Wittenberg University wrote: “Wolf Totem became a cultural sensation in China when it was published in 2004---a flashpoint for historical, spiritual, and cultural concerns. Although Jiang Rong intended his debut novel as a political fable to appeal for freedom and popular elections, it has often been regarded in commercial circles as a business handbook for the practice of wolf wisdom in market competition. As a cultural phenomenon, its wolf symbolism is as celebrated as it is controversial: it critiques Confucianism in light of militarism, calls for environmental protection and sustainability according to the law of the jungle (or, in Jiang Rong's own term, “grassland logic”), and advocates “peaceful” survival of the fittest through territorial expansion and a renewed space race." [Source: Howard Y. F. Choy of Wittenberg University, MCLC Resource Center Publication , April 2009]

“Jiang Rong is a pseudonym of Lü Jiamin, a former political science professor and democracy activist jailed after the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. Wolf Totem is a quasi-autobiographical novel about a Han Chinese urban intellectual's personal experience on the steppes in north-central Inner Mongolia during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). Chen Zhen, the author's alter ego, spends a decade of nomadic life in the Ujimchin Banner on the Chinese border of Inner and Outer Mongolia. It is in this contact zone that the protagonist ponders the complex interrelationship between Mongolianness and Han Chineseness. He soon becomes fascinated with Mongolian wolves and Genghis Khan (1167-1227), the phantom of a wolfish heroism that once occupied China and founded a vast empire across Eurasia. When Chen risks a clash with his hosts' totem and taboos by adopting a wolfkin as a pet, he finds himself adapting to a nomadic brave new world, where he witnesses a wilderness paradise in the process of being lost to the impact of internal colonization. The novel closes with Chen's burden of guilt over having ‘snipped off the canines of the . . . cub, stripping him of his freedom with a chain during his short life, and in the end crushing his head." [Ibid]

“The pleasure of reading is swiftly aroused in the beginning of the novel by its wolf lore---pages of breathtaking descriptions of wolf raids on gazelles and prized horses, followed by bloody wolf hunting. The problem with such pleasure is that the gory graphic details render violence not only delightful and entertaining, but also sublime and sacred. Wolves are portrayed as warriors and strategists, with high spirits and esprit de corps, and masterly hunting tactics in spying, encircling, ambushing, assaulting, and intercepting; they are, moreover, apotheosized as messengers from Tengger, Mongol heaven. Nevertheless, these powerful sections of the narrative fail to develop into an interesting story, as they soon yield place to the grandiose theory of evolution one third of the way into the novel. As Lee Haiyan observes, in the course of the “scientific experiment” of raising the cub, Chen Zhen's “loving gaze that elevates it to a mythic being is also an epistemological gaze that reduces it to a lab creature." Little Wolf is simultaneously deified as the object of a new totemism and objectified by “wolfology” at the same time." [Ibid]

"Structurally, each of the thirty-five chapters opens with epigraphs excerpted from historical documents or studies. An example is the legend about Mongolian ancestry from the opening of The Secret History of the Mongols : “At the beginning there was a blue-grey wolf, born with his destiny ordained by Heaven Above." Indeed, Jiang Rong rewrites 5,000 years of Chinese history in the last 50,000 characters of his 500,000-character book so as to make it conform to his lupine discourse. ...The author concludes his grand narrative by opining that the Chinese people are not so much “descendants of the dragon” as “disciples of the wolf” and that nomads are the ancestors of the Han farming people. Seeking a barbarian civilization in the term “civilized wolf” as a modern transition from ancient “civilized sheep” to future “civilized man," he advocates “nomadizing” peasant mentality and the necessity to “Mongolianize” Han culture. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the jarring sermon that comprises the last one tenth of the work has also been cut from the English rendition."

Image Sources:

Text Sources: New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, Lonely Planet Guides, Library of Congress, U.S. government, Compton’s Encyclopedia, The Guardian, National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, AFP, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic Monthly, The Economist, Foreign Policy, Wikipedia, BBC, CNN, and various books, websites and other publications.

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© 2008 Jeffrey Hays

Last updated April 2016


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