Sibir Reindeer Herdsmen

272 miles long peninsula Yamal in Siberia is considered to be one of the most beautiful places in the world. It is also mother soil for vagrant tribes, the Nenets people. Their main occupation is reindeer breeding and all they have are reindeer, because they build houses of reindeer skin and make their clothes of it. There are a few thousand of herdsmen on the peninsula who have more than 500,000 reindeer. But presently their traditional occupation is at stake owing to global warming and climate change.

The reindeer also known as the caribou when wild in North America, is an Arctic and Subarctic-dwelling deer, widespread and numerous across the Arctic and Subarctic.

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The reindeer is a widespread and numerous species in the Holarctic. Originally, the reindeer was found in Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, Russia, Mongolia, and northern China north of the 50th latitude. In North America, it was found in Canada, Alaska (USA), and the northern conterminous USA from Washington to Maine. In the 19th century, it was apparently still present in southern Idaho. It also occurred naturally on Sakhalin, Greenland, and probably even in historical times in Ireland. During the late Pleistocene era, reindeer were found as far south as Nevada and Tennessee in North America and Spain in Europe. Today, wild reindeer have disappeared from many areas within this large historical range, especially from the southern parts, where it vanished almost everywhere. Large populations of wild reindeer are still found in Norway, Siberia, Greenland, Alaska, and Canada, with a singular herd of approximately 50 Reindeer living around the Cairngorms region in Scotland.

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Domesticated reindeer are mostly found in northern Fennoscandia, Russia, and Iceland (where they were introduced by humans in the 18th century). The last remaining wild reindeer in Europe are found in portions of southern Norway. The southern boundary of the species’ natural range is approximately at 62° north latitude.

A few reindeer from Norway were introduced to the South Atlantic island of South Georgia in the beginning of the 20th century. Today, there are two distinct herds still thriving there, permanently separated by glaciers. Their total numbers are no more than a few thousand. The flag and the coat of arms of the territory contain an image of a reindeer. Around 4000 reindeer have been introduced into the French sub-Antarctic archipelago of Kerguelen Islands.

Caribou and reindeer numbers have fluctuated historically, but many herds are in decline across their range This global decline is linked to climate change for northern, migratory caribou and reindeer herds and industrial disturbance of caribou habitat for sedentary, non-migratory herds

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