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The Yamal Nenets Autonomous Okrug (YNAO) is a large area covering about 770,000 km2 of tundra, permafrost, bog and water including the mouth of the Ob River, and the Yamal Peninsula. With just over ½ mil-lion inhabitants, the YNAO is actually one of the most «urban» regions of the Russian Arctic. At the same time, the region is one where reindeer husbandry is at its most vibrant. Approximately 14,000 indigenous people, primarily Nenets, practice traditional livelihoods in the YNAO, of which reindeer herding is at the core. In 2007 there were estimated to be over 600,000 rein-deer in the region, representing nearly half the total number of domesticated reindeer in Russia, and ¼ of the world’s population. The Yamal municipality, which includes the Yamal peninsula, is one of the most important region for reindeer husbandry (with almost half the reindeer of the YNAO). Around half the population of the municipality (over 5,000 people),practice nomadic reindeer husbandry.

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