Mongolia to host festival as reindeer population increases


The number of reindeer in Mongolia has been steadily growing in recent years (Montsame)

The number of reindeer in Mongolia has been steadily growing in recent years (Montsame)

Ulaanbaatar: Mongolia will hold a two-day festival next week to celebrate the latest increase in the number of reindeer in the country.

“In connection with the number of reindeer exceeded 2,000, a festival of 2,000 reindeer will be held in Tsagaannuur soum of Khuvsgul aimag on August 16-17,” Montsame, the official news agency, said.

A census conducted in late 2018 has confirmed that the number of reindeer in the country has been growing in recent years and that it has reached 2,349, an increase of 167 heads compared with the previous year..

According o the Governor of Tsagaaannuur soum of Khuvsgul aimag Ch.Davaanyam, two reasons ecplain the growth of the reindeer population, a species registered in the Mongolian Red Book of Endangered Animals and International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species.

The first reason is that the President of Mongolia issued a decree in 2013 to give benefits to reindeer herders with a view to increase their livelihood and reduce the sales of reindeer for consumption, he said, quoted by Montsame.

The second reason is that the government of Mongolia in cooperation with the World Organization for Animal Health started paying attention to the health of reindeer in the country and vaccinating them.

Each year, around 150-200 reindeer calves are born; however, around 30 percent of them die before reaching maturity due to attacks from wolves and dogs.

The number of reindeer that live at 2300-5000 meters above sea level started declining in the 1950s and currently, there are more than 2,000 reindeer in few areas of Khuvsgul aimag in northern Mongolia.

In 1996, the reindeer was included in the Red Book of Endangered animals after its population dropped to only 200-400.

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