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Heavy snow kills at least 15,000 reindeer in northern Siberia

By The Siberian Times reporter
20 March 2014

Animals cannot forage for lichen under the snow crust on the Yamal peninsula.

The Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District has 35% of the world reindeer population. Picture: nvinder.ru

The conditions lead to hunger especially in young and sick animals which are not strong enough to feed. Emergency measures have been in place in remote areas where a total of 700,000 domesticated reindeer roam in herds. 

'The situation will continue to deteriorate because of the large snow accumulation (over one metre) and the wasting disease, which may lead to massive reindeer deaths in the spring migration,' warned  Vyacheslav Kucherenko,  director of the district's agro-industry, trade and food department.

Worst-hit are Yamalsky, Priuralsky, Tazovsky, Purovsky and Nadym districts.

Spokeswoman Nadezhda Noskova stressed: 'The government of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District has allocated from reserve funds 31.59 million roubles ($875,000) for the liquidation of the consequences of the mass mortality of deer in the Yamal tundra'.

This involves buying mineral fodder and salt, feed concentrates, covering expenses in the transportation of reindeer breeders' belongings, disposing of dead animals, and acquiring fuel and lubricants.

'Money will go for the purchase of firewood for those herders who are not able to roam because of exhaustion and weakness of herd,' said a statement. 

'With a total number of 700,000, the loss of  15,000  heads is insignificant, but for most of the herders it is serious,' said deputy director of the Environmental Research Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology, Alexander Sokolov. The Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District has Russia's largest herd of domesticated reindeer, around 53% of the total reindeer population in Russia and 35% of the world reindeer population. 

Comments (2)

I had warned to call Mercy for Animals in time on Facebook could mean all real wild reindeer dead as were looked after by real decent native ethnic minorities but it is suspected up to 20 million of the ethnic minorities
Inez Deborah Emilia Altar, Assacaias Santarém Portugal
27/12/2015 07:04
0
0
Este diario tiene noticias muy interesantes!!!! Rusia me apasiona!!
Ricardo CABA, Patagonia argentina
16/05/2015 01:42
0
0
1

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