Mongolian reindeer herders’ way of life under threat
In the vast and wild forests of northern Mongolia, a centuries-old way of life is migrating closer to modernity.
One of the world’s last nomadic reindeer people near Mongolia’s border with Russia have captivated people from far and wide.
There are an estimated 250-300 nomads, known as the Tsaatan, and about 1,000 reindeer left in the country. But they’re struggling to protect their traditional way of life, now in conflict with conservation laws.
Khurelbaatar Byambajav, a reindeer herder, says the Tsaatan now help preserve the area, using fallen branches rather than logging, but the government is tightening its grip.
This includes forcing Tsaatan to register their numbers and reindeer, as well as bans on grazing in some areas.
Grace Brown has the story from Khuvsgal, Mongolia.
Oyunerdene Zorigt, a 28-year-old nurse, says she plans to finish studying to become a doctor at a nearby town.
She adds that with less land for grazing, more young Tsaatan like her are now trading in their teepees, leaving an uncertain future for Mongolia’s last reindeer herders.