Celebrating the historic milestone of two thousand reindeer in Mongolia, “Reindeer Festival – 2000 Reindeer Celebration” was held in Tsagaannuur soum, Khuvsgul province at the weekend. The event was aimed at promoting the heritage and culture of the reindeer people to the public and to develop reindeer husbandry.
A livestock census made at the end of 2018 shows that the number of reindeer in Mongolia increased to 2396. In particular, reindeer herder families in the taiga area of Mongolia whose livelihood depends on their reindeers, had 814 reindeers by the end of 2016, however, the number reached 2396 reindeer herded by 85 families – a threefold increase. At the present time, the population of the Tsagaannuur soum of Khuvsgul aimag is 2006 people. Also, there are 755 Tuva people living in the western and eastern taiga of Mongolia, receiving an allowance from the government.
Herders from the east and west taiga arrived at the festival along with more than 1200 reindeer; also taking part were Tuvans, people from Ulan-Ude, the capital of the Russian Republic of Buryatia, as well as people from China’s Inner Mongolian Region. Numerous events were held during the festival, including Mongolian and Tuvan traditional wrestling competitions, races of calf and fawn, reindeer polo, shuttlecock and a traditional concert of the reindeer people and an exhibition of traditional handicraft items.
The Government of Mongolia has been implementing certain measures since 2007 with a view to improve the lives of reindeer families and reindeer husbandry. Later, in 2013, a resolution was approved to provide benefits for reindeer herder people. The government also has organised several works designed for the enhancement of reindeer quality and a selection of breed, which included the import of 12 reindeer from the Tuva Republic of the Russian Federation in 2009 and a purchase of 19 reindeer in cooperation the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency in 2014 and delivered the animals to the reindeer herder people in the Taiga. These government actions resulted in a growth of reindeer herders’ income and an increased quality of reindeer breed, the main source of income of the herders and probability of reindeer’s offspring survival, which finally exerted their influence on their population growth.