Reindeer Herding and Environmental Change in Reindeer Herding Regions of the Sakha Republic: Comparison with the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District
I investigated the influence of global warming or climate change on the indigenous peoples of Siberia, especially reindeer herders. Historically, despite problematic management systems (governmental, municipal, or private), these indigenous peoples have adapted to various natural and social changes. This chapter reports on field research into nomadic summer and winter camps in reindeer herding regions (specifically, the villages of Olenek and Sebyan-Kyuelj) of the Sakha Republic, with comparison to West-Siberian Yamal-Nenets reindeer herders. This was accomplished by direct interviews with herders and local administrative and enterprise executives. Some informants told of direct or indirect influences of meteorological change, but most were unaware of change in vegetation for reindeer forage or noted little influence of climate changes. I detected recent vegetation change around the herding camps for pasture conditions by examining normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) images. Using this method even over short periods, one could detect certain anomalies of vegetation productivity. However, it was difficult to discern the meaning of such anomalies and verify their cause and effect. In future research into the influence of climatic change on the indigenous peoples of Siberia, we must consider its natural and social implications.
KeywordsReindeer herding Climate change Sakha Yamal-Nenets NDVI Vulnerability
I greatly appreciate the assistance of Dr. K. Yamamoto, Nagoya University for providing NDVI images of various regions in Siberia. I also deeply thank the herders and administrative executives of Sebyan-Kyuelj and Olenek villages for advice and support to this research.
- Crate SA, Nuttal M (2009) Introduction: anthropology and climate change. In: Crate SA, Nuttal M (eds) Anthropology and climate change: from encounters to actions. Left Coast Press, Walnut Creek, pp 9–36Google Scholar
- Huntington H et al (2004) Matching traditional and scientific observations to detect environmental change: a discussion on Arctic terrestrial ecosystems. Ambio Special Report 13:18–23Google Scholar
- Ishii A (2011) A review of research on adaptation and vulnerability. In: FY2010 FR2 Research Project Report (RIHN Project C-07). Kyoto, pp 197–202 (In Japanese)Google Scholar
- Nakada A (2012) Reindeer Herding and environmental change in the Tompo district, Sakha Republic. In: Proceeding of 1st international conference global warming and the Human-Nature dimension in Siberia, pp 97–99Google Scholar
- Podkorytov FM, Zabrodin VA, Borozdin EK, Laishev KA, Vagin AS (2004) Severnoe Olenevodstvo. Agrarnaya Rossiya, MoscowGoogle Scholar