Taimyr may lack master reindeer herders in five years
Taimyr, where nearly all the domestic reindeer livestock of the Krasnoyarsk Territory is concentrated, may lack master reindeer herders in five years, TASS reported, citing a report on 2016 results by the Commissioner for the Rights of Numerically Small Indigenous Peoples.
"There are no experts on reindeer herding in the territorial government. The regions are also experiencing personnel shortages: in Taimyr, where 97 percent of the livestock is concentrated, there are no animal technicians or students studying agriculture jobs. So, we can predict that there will be no local experts in five years," the report reads.
The document also states that many things have changed in reindeer husbandry over the last few decades. For example, Taimyr's most ancient people, the Nganasan, have no reindeer any longer. Residents of 19 villages who used to be herders are engaged in seasonal work, are completely dependent on the brief fishing season and the migration of wild reindeer, and subsist (except for state employees) on social benefits. In Evenkia, the reindeer population is steadily decreasing. Over the last 10 years, their number has fallen by more than half to 2,300 animals. In Taimyr, on the contrary, the number of reindeer has grown by 150 percent to 110,000 animals. Almost 105,000 of them inhabit the left bank of the Yenisei River, raised by reindeer herders from the villages of Nosok and Tukhard.
The area is also facing pasture depletion. Scientists from the National Research Institute of Arctic Agriculture and Environment found out in 2006 that the pressure on pastures in the Tukhard tundra area exceeded the food supply by 100 percent.
"Since then, the number of reindeer in the Tukhard tundra has increased from 18,000 to 40,000 animals and continues to grow. Thus, the pressure on pastures has more than doubled over the last 10 years," the report says.
According to TASS, the commissioner's report will be reviewed at a session of the Krasnoyarsk Territory legislative assembly in late April.