Scientists study reindeer grazing field for first time in winter
Scientists and experts of the Arctic Research Center, Tyumen State University and the Department of Science and Innovation of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area have completed a wide-ranging expedition to the local Tazovsky District, the area's website said. The expedition to the Gydan, Tazovsky and Tanam tundras studied the health, social and economic welfare of the local population, and collected suggestions from reindeer herders on how to regulate herd numbers and migration routes.
For the first time, scientists tried to estimate the productivity of reindeer grazing fields in winter. Researchers and experts took samples of the moss and lichen layer that will later be studied in the botanical labs of Tyumen State University to measure the nourishing value of the fields.
"Normally, all geo-botanical studies are carried out in summer, but they are more costly as the only way to get to reindeer grazing fields is by helicopter," said Andrei Soromotin, Doctor of Biology and Director of the Research and Development Institute of Ecology and the Sustainable Use of Natural Resources at Tyumen State University. "It is far easier to travel to grazing lands in winter, which is why we developed a method to study the grazing grounds in winter. The first experiment has been a success."
He said the results of the winter moss and lichen tests with be compared with the summer research figures to unify the method.
In all, the expedition has collected 100 samples of snow, soil, traditional food products, reindeer fur and human biological material. In 10 days, the expedition covered about 600 km.