Wildlife and environment
Yamal-Nenets veterinarians to establish the cause of death of 1,000 reindeer in the tundra
© RIA Novosti. Vladimir Astapkovich

Yamal-Nenets veterinarians to establish the cause of death of 1,000 reindeer in the tundra

Veterinarians in Yamal-Nenets will investigate the reason behind the death of 1,000 reindeer in the Yamal Region in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area. Their deaths were recorded by Yamalskoye, a municipal reindeer company, the Arctic Research Center (ARC) reports.

"An expedition of specialists that received word of the animals' deaths is over. The information came from Yamalskoye employees. Yamalskoye pastures reindeer in the Seyakh tundra. Flights over the pastures in the Seyakh and Tambei tundra confirmed the situation. The company lost 400 reindeer and the deaths of another 600 reindeer were reported by private breeders," the center said.

Exams of the reindeer have not revealed any signs of infectious diseases.

"An autopsy of one of the dead reindeer will be carried out in Salekhard. This should make it possible to determine the cause of death," said head of the Yamal-Nenets Veterinarian Service Andrei Listishenko.

Deputy Section Head of the Agro-Industrial Complex District Department Vladimir Bakharev said that by tradition every spring reindeer breeders take their herds to these pastures during the fawning season.  "These places are on a hill and the layer of snow there is not as high as it is solid which makes it more difficult for the reindeer to get to the fodder. Herds were taken there in late March to get ready for the fawning season but the weather let us down," he added.

ARC Director Anton Sinitsky studied the landscape of the pastures and the condition of the snow cover. "The absence of an ice crust shows there were no sharp temperature fluctuations in the winter when on one day freezing temperatures were replaced by a thaw and there was ice rain in the tundra, as was the case in the winter of 2013-2014," he said.