Balanced between the Russian and Chinese superpowers, both of which are mineral- and energy- hungry, Mongolia is rich in resources. Three million people share a landmass one-sixth the size of the United States. Because of the sparseness of the population, several of its ecosystems are complex enough to host rare and endangered large mammal species. Wild camels, for example — distinct from their domesticated cousins used for transport and food — shyly evade human contact in southern Mongolia.
An aboriginal herding tradition is surviving even as it changes. Even though dirt bikes (rather than horses) are often used for herding, for example, traditional grazing and hunting routes are still used because the land is not parceled into private property.