Most of reindeer will die in Yamal: the authorities of the region announced a rescue plan

April 23, 2018 • Alena GerasimovaChallenges, Reindeer

According to URA.RU, Yamal reindeer herdingо will face a major decline in the next ten years. This conclusion was made by scientists after geobotanical studies conducted in the Yamalskiy and Tazovskiy districts. Due to the impoverishment of the food base, reindeer will soon have nothing to eat. These dates were announced at a closed meeting by the first deputy governor of Yamal – Alexei Sitnikov. 

Sitnikov said that Yamal is threatened with the same thing that happened in Alaska in the 1930s. For 10 years because of hunger, the number of reindeer decreased from 600 thousand to 20 thousand animals. Yamal, with 760 ooo grazing reindeer,  is now facing a similar problem. Last year’s experiment to increase slaughtering capacities has failed. A detailed study showed that the number of reindeer in each individual family is below the necessary norm and herders simply can not  send animals for slaughter. The root of the problem lies in the number of families leading the traditional nomadic way of life. There are more than 3370 such families in Yamal. To solve the problem, no less than two thousand families need to be moved to towns and villages. At the moment this is impossible.

The government of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District (YNAO) has already announced a plan of action to reduce the number of reindeer. In the Yamalskiy district, four municipal enterprises are going to be united, while taking a phased reduction of reindeer. Reindeer herders will be entrusted with strict requirements for identification and vaccination of reindeer, as well as for the volume of animals being slaughtered.

Another measure is the transition to corral reindeer herding. One of the enterprises of the Yamalskiy district will be transferred to a year-round corral grazing in the forest zone in the Nadymskiy district. Fences and household outbuildings will be built from the state budget. It is planned to conduct a research to determine how to fully feed the animals, accustomed to self-growth and wild tundra yagel. In parallel, the government created a working group on the development of carral reindeer herding. A system of grant support is being analyzed in order to encourage reindeer herders to move to a settled way of life.

Scientists started talk about the need to reduce the number of reindeer after the anthraxan outbreak  in Yamal in 2016. Specialists considered that the number of reindeer is twice as large as the Yamal pastures can feed. As a result, overgrazing can lead to impoverishment of the food reserve and mass extinction of reindeer from hunger.

Source: URA.RU