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The number of wild reindeer in Taimyr has decreased to 250 thousand
07 february 2022
Over 20 years, the number of this population has fallen by nearly 4 times, most of the other populations in Russia are also declining. At the "Conference on Conservation and Rational Use of Wild Reindeer, snow Sheep, and musk deer resources", scientists and ecologists made several proposals for the conservation of the species in Russia.
A full-fledged project "Strategies for the conservation of wild reindeer in the Russian Federation" will be prepared by the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia together with WWF-Russia this summer, but urgent measures for their conservation must already be taken.
According to the results of the recent census of the Taimyr-Evenk population, announced at the meeting, its number decreased to 250 thousand individuals, in the 1990s it numbered up to a million.
One of the main factors of population decline was overexploitation caused by some gaps in the hunting regulatory. In this regard, the participants of the meeting recommended authorities of the Krasnoyarsk Krai and the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) to strengthen the protection of the Taimyr-Evenk population in key areas of reindeer migration routes. Also, it was agreed that it is essential to establish a ban on hunting wild reindeer in the Pyasina River basin from August the 1st and postpone the start of hunting in the Taimyr Dolgan-Nenets municipal District to August 10-15.
The creation of protected areas can help to preserve wild reindeer in other territories. In particular, the participants of the meeting recommended creating a specially protected area on the pastures of the Novaya Zemlya subspecies on the Southern island of the Novaya Zemlya archipelago, as well as taking under protection areas significant for the population living at the junction of the Arkhangelsk Region, the Komi Republic and the Nenets Autonomous Okrug,
"Solving the problem of conserving the Taimyr-Evenk population requires taking a whole range of measures both in the field of optimizing the regulatory framework in the use of wild reindeer resources – changing hunting dates, introducing permits for the implementation of aboriginal quotas, etc., and improving monitoring and protection systems for this population, – says Vladimir Krever, scientific director of WWF-Russia's biodiversity conservation program. – We will continue to provide the necessary organizational and financial support to the relevant structures. It is extremely important to propose amendments to Federal Law 33 "On Specially Protected Natural Territories" regarding the introduction of the concept of "ecological corridors" – this will ensure the preservation of habitats essential for the migration of not only wild reindeer but also other species."
In addition, the authorities of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation authorized in the field of hunting and conservation of hunting resources are recommended, with a significant decrease in the number of wild reindeer in the subject, to introduce bans on types of hunting (commercial, amateur and sports), except hunting as a part of traditional lifestyle and the implementation of traditional economic activities. A complete ban on hunting is recommended to be introduced with a critical reduction in the number of these species.
To ensure the conservation of the species and its sustainable protection, it is necessary to continue its research, create a unified accounting methodology, and also re-register the Taimyr-Evenk population in 2024-25 to assess the situation and the effectiveness of the measures taken.