Yamal Reindeer Herders Fight Against Poachers

July 16, 2014 • Alena GerasimovaChallenges

Nenets reindeer herderIndigenous peoples of Yamal complain about numerous death of reindeer this winter. The reason of this death loss is not only very severe winter but also poaching.  “Today’s situation is not that bad, it used to be that poachers could hunt 20-30 of our reindeer” – said reindeer herder Natal’ya Pyak.

In spring time domesticated reindeer are free to walk in tundra by themselves. Poachers don’t bother to think if reindeer is wild or domesticated. As a result it is indigenous peoples who suffer.

The hunting season on wild reindeer and elk starts with October 1. It lasts till December 31 (for elk), and March 15 (for reindeer).

This year over 70 thousand reindeer died of hunger. Rains in autumn, heavy snowfall in winter, lapse rate of temperature in spring, led to the ice formation on the grounds – the reason why reindeer couldn’t get food.

Representatives from industry also care about local indigenous peoples. For instance, “Rosneft Purneftegas” company has indigenous employee, who is responsible for compliance with the company’s employees to certain rules relating to illegal hunting. The “Rosneft Purneftegas” ‘s head of the regional policy Vasily Skoropad said that the company is working to avoid poachers. Importation of weapons to the mining fields are forbidden.

Two hunters were arrested last year for shooting reindeer. They now suffer criminal responsibility. 

Source: Фонд Батани