Extreme wintry weather known locally as “dzud” has killed more than 500 Bactrian camels in the central Mongolian province of Uvurkhangai so far this winter.
Dzud is a Mongolian term to describe the frigid winter that comes after a dry summer and causes a great number of livestock to die of starvation or cold.
“The camel is said to be the most tolerant of livestock to dzud and drought. However, even camels are dying in our soum this winter,” an elder herder in Bogd soum (administrative subdivision) of Uvurkhangai said at a meeting between herders and local authorities.
Dozens of small livestock animals have been dying due to the severe winter in the soum almost every day, according to local herders.
Uvurkhangai is one of six Mongolian provinces which had a bad summer in 2020.
As of the end of 2019, the number of Mongolia’s livestock animals surpassed 70 million and 0.7 percent of them were Bactrian – or two-humped camels.
Thousands of herders lose their animals almost every year due to dzud. In 2016, more than 1 million animals died from the extreme weather conditions.