Skip to main content
Log in

Influence of Indigenous Herding Activities on the Spatio-temporal Distribution of Reindeer during the Summer-Autumn Period: Case from Yamal, Russia

Human Ecology Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

The movement patterns of domestic reindeer depending on indigenous herding practices were studied using GPS collars. Data were collected during the summer-autumn of 2021 from the private Nenets herd in the South of Yamal Peninsula, Russia. We classified the types of herders’ influence on reindeer and estimated the densities of GPS fixes on pastures in four time periods in June – November. Based on ethnographic data and personal experience of migrating with Nenets, we hypothesized that a long-lasting stay of reindeer at a nomadic campsite is the significant indicator of human influence on a herd. Our GPS data registered that reindeer stayed at campsites significantly longer in July during the peak of insect harassment. This factor determined the maximum level of human control over the herd as shown by the limited distance of dispersal of reindeer from a campsite. By early August, the active phase of bloodsucking insects concludes as does active control of the herd, allowing a return to freer foraging and increased range of movement.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Institutional subscriptions

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7

Data Availability

The datasets generated during and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

References

  • Andreev, V. N. (1934). Forage base of Yamal reindeer herding. Soviet Reindeer Herding, 1, 99–164. In Russian.

    Google Scholar 

  • Augustine, D. J., & Derner, J. D. (2013). Assessing herbivore foraging behavior with GPS collars in a semiarid grassland. Sensors, 13(3), 3711–3723. https://doi.org/10.3390/s130303711

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Baltensperger, A. P., & Joly, K. (2019). Using Seasonal Landscape Models to predict space use and migratory patterns of an arctic ungulate. Movement Ecology, 7(18). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40462-019-0162-8

  • Baskin, L. M. (2009). Reindeer: Management of behavior and populations. Reindeer herding. Hunting. In Russian. Tovarishchestvo nauchnykh izdatelstv KMK.

  • Beach, H. (1990). Comparative systems of reindeer herding. In J. G. Galaty & D. L. Johnson (Eds.), The World of Pastoralism: Herding Systems in Comparative Perspective (pp. 255–298). Belhaven Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Beest, M. T., Sitters, J., Ménard, C. B., & Olofsson, J. (2016). Reindeer grazing increases summer albedo by reducing shrub abundance in Arctic tundra. Environmental Research Letters, 11, 125013. https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/aa5128

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Belovsky, G. E. (1991). Insights for caribou/reindeer management using optimal foraging theory. Rangifer, 11(4), 7–23. https://doi.org/10.7557/2.11.4.987

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bernes, C., Bråthen, K. A., Forbes, B. C., et al. (2015). What are the impacts of reindeer/caribou (Rangifer tarandus L.) on arctic and alpine vegetation? A systematic review. Environmental Evidance, 4, 4. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13750-014-0030-3

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bogdanov, V. D., & Golovatin, M. G. (2017). Anthrax in Yamal: An ecological view of traditional reindeer husbandry. Ecology, 2, 77–82. https://doi.org/10.7868/S0367059717020056. In Russian.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cahoon, S. M. P., Sullivan, P. F., Post, E., & Welker, J. M. (2012). Large herbivores limit CO2 uptake and suppress carbon cycle responses to warming in West Greenland. Global Change Biology, 18, 469–479. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2486.2011.02528.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Calenge, C. (2006). The package “adehabitat” for the R software: A tool for the analysis of space and habitat use by animals. Ecological Modeling, 197(3), 516–519. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2006.03.017

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dwyer, M. J., & Istomin, K. V. (2008). Theories of nomadic movement: A new theoretical approach for understanding the movement decisions of nenets and komi reindeer herders. Human Ecology, 36, 521–533. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10745-008-9169-2

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dyson-Hudson, N. (1972). The study of nomads. Journal of Asian and African Studies, 7, 2–29. https://doi.org/10.1177/002190967200700103

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ektova, S. N., & Morozova, L. M. (2015). Rate of recovery of lichen-dominated tundra vegetation after overgrazing at the Yamal Peninsula. Czech Polar Reports, 5(1), 27–32. https://doi.org/10.5817/CPR2015-1-3

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Elsakov, V. V., Schanov, V. M., & Belyaev, N. V. (2011). Satellite research methods in reindeer pastures monitoring and mapping. Current Problems in Remote Sensing of the Earth from Space, 8(2), 201–207. In Russian.

    Google Scholar 

  • Forbes, B. C., Macias-Fauria, M., & Zetterberg, M. P. (2010). Russian Arctic warming and “greening” are closely tracked by tundra shrub willows. Global Change Biology, 16, 1542–1554. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2486.2009.02047.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Fyodorova, O. A., Siben, A. N., & Khlyzova, T. A. (2019). Distribution and flight dates of bloodsucking dipterans and warble flies and nose bot flies on the territory of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District. Veterinaria Kubani, 1, 21–24. https://doi.org/10.33861/2071-8020-2019-1-21-24. In Russian.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Geobotanical assessment of reindeer pastures in Yamalskiy and Tazovskiy districts of Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug. (2017) Report, ed. by Ermokhina, К. A. Salekhard.

  • Golovatin, M. G., Morozova, L. M., & Ektova, S. N. (2012). Effect of reindeer overgrazing on vegetation and animals of tundra ecosystems of the Yamal peninsula. Czech Polar Reports, 2(2), 80–91. https://doi.org/10.5817/CPR2012-2-8

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Golovnev, A. V., Lezova, S. V., Abramov, I. V., Belorussova, S. Y., & Babenkova, N. A. (2014). Ethnoexpertise in Yamal: Nenets nomadism and gas fields. In Russian. AMB Press, Ekaterinburg

  • Gorodkov, B. N. (1926). Reindeer pastures in the North of the ural region. Ural, 2, 43–66.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hagemoen, R. I. M., & Reimers, E. (2002). Reindeer summer activity pattern in relation to weather and insect harassment. Journal of Animal Ecology, 71(5), 883–892. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2656.2002.00654.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Igoshina, K. N. (1937). The pasture fodder and forage seasons in the ural reindeer herding. Soviet Reindeer Herding, 10, 125–191. In Russian.

    Google Scholar 

  • Istomin, K. V., & Dwyer, M. J. (2021). Reindeer herders’ thinking: A comparative research of relations between economy, cognition and way of life. Verlag der Kulturstiftung Sibirien SEC Publications.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jung, T. S., Hegel, T. M., Bentzen, T. W., Egli, K., Jessup, L., Kienzler, M., Kuba, K., Kukka, P. M., Russell, K., Suitor, M. P., & Tatsumi, K. (2018). Accuracy and performance of low-feature GPS collars deployed on bison Bison bison and caribou Rangifer tarandus. Wildlife Biology, 1, 1–11. https://doi.org/10.2981/wlb.00404

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Karpov, N. S. (2006). Dynamics of reindeer pasture vegetation in the tundra zone of North-Eastern Yakutiya: PhD thesis. Institute of Biological Problems of the Cryolithozone Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

  • Klokov, K. B. (2020). Diversity of regional trends in traditional reindeer husbandry in the Russian Arctic. IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, 539, 012180. https://doi.org/10.1088/1755-1315/539/1/012180

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kryazhimskiy, F. V., Maklakov, K. V., Morozova, L. M., & Ektova, S. N. (2011). Systematic analysis of biogeocenosis of the Yamal Peninsula: Simulation of the impact of large-herd reindeer breeding on vegetation. Ecology, 5, 323–333. In Russian.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mekonnen, Z. A., Riley, W. J., Berner, L. T., et al. (2021). Environmental Research Letters, 16, 053001. https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/abf28b

  • Melnikov, E. S. (1991). Explanatory note to the map of natural complexes in the north of Western Siberia for the purpose of geocryological forecasting and planning of environmental protection measures for mass construction (scale 1:1000000). In Russian. VSEGINGEO, Moscow.

  • Mörschel, F. M. (1999). Use of climatic data to model the presence of oestrid flies in caribou herds. Journal of Wildlife Management, 63, 588–593. https://doi.org/10.2307/3802647

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Newmaster, S. G., Thompson, I. D., Steeves, R. A. D., Rodgers, A. R., Fazekas, A. J., Malores, J. R., McMullin, R. T., & Fryxell, J. M. (2013). Examination of two new technologies to assess the diet of woodland caribou: Video recorders attached to collars and DNA barcoding. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 43(10), 897–900. https://doi.org/10.1139/cjfr-2013-0108

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Olofsson, J., Oksanen, L., Callaghan, T., Hulme, P. E., Oksanen, T., & Suominen, O. (2009). Herbivores inhibit climate-driven shrub expansion on the tundra. Global Change Biology, 15, 2681–2693. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2486.2009.01935.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Podkorytov, F. M. (1995). Yamal Reindeer Herding. In Russian. L.: Tipografiia LAES.

  • R Core Team. (2022). R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing. Vienna, Austria. Retrieved August 2022 from http://www.R-project.org

  • Reimers, E., Tsegaye, D., Colman, J. E., & Eftestøl, S. (2014). Activity patterns in reindeer with domestic vs. wild ancestry. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 150, 74–84. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2013.10.010

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Risser, P. G., Karr, J. R., & Forman, R. T. T. (1984). Landscape Ecology: Directions and Approaches. Illinois Natural History Survey. Special Publication No 2. Champaign, Illinois.

  • Salman, A. L., Savchenko, A. P., Grebel, G., Okhlopkov, I. M., Savchenko, P. A., Dubintsov, S. A., Soukhovolsky, V. G., & Muravyov, A. N. (2020). Information and space technologies in the development of hunting and domestic reindeer husbandry. IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering, 456, 012059. https://doi.org/10.1088/1757-899X/456/1/012059

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Savchenko, A. P., Salman, A. L., Savchenko, P. A., Savchenko, I. A., Dubintsov, S. A., & Muravyov, A. N. (2019). Use experience of collars with radio beacons of Argos satellite system produced by ES-PAS Ltd. for the study of reindeer Taimyr-Evenk population. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 1399(3), 033047. https://doi.org/10.1088/1742-6596/1399/3/033047

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Seaman, D. E., Millspaugh, J. J., Kernohan, B. J., Brundige, G. C., Raedeke, K. J., & Gitzen, R. A. (1999). Effects of sample size on kernel home range estimates. Journal of Wildlife Management, 63(2), 739–747. https://doi.org/10.2307/3802664

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Seaman, D. E., & Powell, R. A. (1996). An evaluation of the accuracy of kernel density estimators for home range analysis. Ecology, 77(7), 2075–2085. https://doi.org/10.2307/2265701

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Senft, R. B., Coughenour, L. M., Bailey, D. W., Rittenhouse, O. E., Sals, O. E., & Swift, D. M. (1987). Large herbivore foraging and ecological hierarchies. BioScience, 37(11), 789–799. https://doi.org/10.2307/1310545

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Silverman, B. W. (1986). Density Estimation for Statistics and Data Analysis. Chapman & Hall. https://doi.org/10.1002/bimj.4710300745

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Sizikov, S. Yu. (2005). Protection of reindeer from bloodsucking two-winged insects and imago gadflies in Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous okrug: doct. thesis. In Russian. Research Institute of Veterinary Entomology and Arachnology, SB RAS. Tyumen.

  • Skarin, A., & Åhman, B. (2014). Do human activity and infrastructure disturb domesticated reindeer? The need for the reindeer’s perspective. Polar Biology, 37, 1041–1054. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00300-014-1499-5

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Skarin, A., Danell, Ö., Bergström, R., & Moen, J. (2004). Insect avoidance may override human disturbances in reindeer habitat selection. Rangifer, 24(2), 95–103. https://doi.org/10.7557/2.24.2.306

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Skarin, A., Danell, Ö., Bergström, R., & Moen, J. (2008). Summer habitat preferences of GPS-collared reindeer Rangifer tarandus tarandus. Wildlife Biology, 14(1), 1–15. https://doi.org/10.2981/0909-6396(2008)14[1:SHPOGR]2.0.CO;2

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Skarin, A., Danell, Ö., Bergström, R., & Moen, J. (2010). Reindeer movement patterns in alpine summer ranges. Polar Biology, 33, 1263–1275. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00300-010-0815-y

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Skarin, A., Verdonen, M., Kumpula, T., Macias-Fauria, M., Alam, M., Kerby, J., & Forbes, B. C. (2020). Reindeer use of low Arctic tundra correlates with landscape structure. Environmental research letters, 15(11), [115012]. https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/abbf15

  • Stammler, F. (2005). Reindeer nomads meet the market. Culture, property and globalisation at the “End of the land”. Lit Verlag, Berlin.

  • Terekhina, A. N., & Volkovitskiy, A. I. (2020). Patterns of resource use by nomads of Yamal: ethnography of macro-regions. In Arctic and Siberian energy: resource using in the context of socio-economic changes, edited by Davidov, V. N. (pp. 87–113). In Russian. Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (the Kunstkamera), RAS, Saint-Petersburg.

  • Turner, M. G., & Gardner, R. H. (2015). Landscape metrics. In Landscape ecology in theory and practice, edited by Turner, M. G. & Gardner, R. H. (pp. 97–142). Springer, New York. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-2794-4_1

  • Valinger, E., Berg, S., & Lind, T. (2018). Reindeer husbandry in a mountain Sami village in boreal Sweden: The social and economic effect of introducing GPS collars and adaptive forest management. Agroforestry Systems, 92, 933–943. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10457-018-0249-z

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Verma, M., Schulte to Bühne, H., Lopes, M., Ehrich, D., Sokovnina, S., Hofhuis, S. P., & Pettorelli, N. (2020). Can reindeer husbandry management slow down the shrubification of the Arctic? Journal of Environmental Management, 267, 110636. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2020.110636

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Veselkin, D. V., Morozova, L. M., & Gorbunova, A. M. (2021). Decrease of NDVI values in the southern tundra of Yamal in 2001–2018 correlates with the size of domesticated reindeer population. Modern Problems of Remote Sensing from Space, 18(2), 143–155. https://doi.org/10.21046/2070-7401-2021-18-2-143-155. In Russian.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Vistnes, I., & Nellemann, C. (2008). The matter of spatial and temporal scales: A review of reindeer and caribou response to human activity. Polar Biology, 31, 399–407. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00300-007-0377-9

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Vuorinen, K. E. M., Austrheim, G., Tremblay, J., Myers-Smith, I. H., Hortman, H. I., Frank, P., Barrio, I. C., Dalerum, F., Björkman, M. P., Björk, R. G., Ehrich, D., Sokolov, A., Sokolova, N., Ropars, P., Boudreau, S., Normand, S., Prendin, A. L., Schmidt, N. M., Pacheco-Solana, A., et al. (2022). Growth rings show limited evidence for ungulates’ potential to suppress shrubs across the Arctic. Environmental Research Letters, 22, 034013. https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/ac5207

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Walker, D. A., Raynolds, M. K., Daniels, F. J. A., Einarsson, E., Elvebakk, A., Gould, W. A., Katenin, A. E., Kholod, S. S., Markon, C. J., Melnikov, E. S., Moskalenko, N. G., Talbot, S. S., Yurtsev, B. A., the other members of the CAVM Team. (2005). The Circumpolar Arctic vegetation map. Journal of Vegetation Science, 16(3), 267–282. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1654-1103.2005.tb02365.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wand, M. P., & Jones, M. C. (1995). Kernel Smoothing. Chapman & Hall, London. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4899-4493-1

  • Worton, B. J. (1995). Using Monte Carlo simulation to evaluate kernel-based home range estimators. Journal of Wildlife Management, 59(4), 794–800. https://doi.org/10.2307/3801959

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Yuzhakov, A. A., & Mukhachev, A. D. (2001). Ethnic reindeer herding in Western Siberia: Nenets type. In Russian. SB RAAS Press, Novosibirsk

  • Yuzhakov, A. A. (2003). Nenets native breed of reindeer: doct. thesis. In Russian. Salekhard.

Download references

Acknowledgements

We are deeply grateful to the YNAO Government and our partners, the Nenets family of Efim Serotetto. We thank Karl Mertens for language improving and helpful comments.

Funding

This paper was prepared with the support of the Russian Science Foundation (project No. 22–24-00642).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Alexandra Terekhina.

Ethics declarations

Ethics Approval

All applicable international, national and/or institutional guidelines for the social and animal studies were followed. The local participants voluntarily provided their information and gave their consent to conduct the studies.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare they have no competing interests.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Supplementary Information

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

Supplementary file1 (DOCX 13 kb)

Rights and permissions

Springer Nature or its licensor (e.g. a society or other partner) holds exclusive rights to this article under a publishing agreement with the author(s) or other rightsholder(s); author self-archiving of the accepted manuscript version of this article is solely governed by the terms of such publishing agreement and applicable law.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Terekhina, A., Filippova, V., Volkovitskiy, A. et al. Influence of Indigenous Herding Activities on the Spatio-temporal Distribution of Reindeer during the Summer-Autumn Period: Case from Yamal, Russia. Hum Ecol 51, 21–34 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10745-022-00384-8

Download citation

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10745-022-00384-8

Keywords

Navigation