Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug

Physical geography and climate
Population, economic development and infrastructure
Indigenous land use and dependence on the environment
Environmental threats
Map (1997)
Article collection

Indigenous land use and dependence on the environment

The fundamental subsistence of the tundra Nenets and northern branch of the Khants is reindeer breeding, similar to that described for the Nenets Autonomous Okrug, although characterised by longer migration routes for the tundra people due to large distances between the summer and winter pastures. In the southern forest areas herdsman are sedentary, only using seasonal camps during the summer migrations, and their reindeer migrate over comparatively short distances. The domestic reindeer population of the okrug has been growing steadily for 25 years, from 363,000 head in 1980 to 508,000 in 1996 and 520,000 in 2001.

Nenets and Khants participate in commercial fishing in the estuaries, which, however, is not a merely indigenous occupation. Fishing still provides a subsidiary occupation for reindeer breeders, such as other traditional occupations like hunting and gathering.

In southern areas, inland fishing is a primary subsistence for some Khants and has gained commercial importance. Caught species are Siberian sturgeon (Acipenser baeri), white sturgeon (Acipenser ruthenus), white salmon (Stenodus leucichthus nelma), Siberian cisco (Coregonus sardinella), humpback whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus), broad whitefish (chir; Coregonus nasus), muksun (Coregonus muksun), and chastikovaya (Russ.).

The supply shortage in the Russian Federation during the 1990s resulted in an increased importance of subsidiary, primary economic occupations. Traditionally, hunted and trapped animals are wild reindeer, moose, wolf, otter, musk-rat, fox, polar fox, weasel, sable, squirrel, marten, hare, wolverine, and occasionally moose and brown bear. Also gathering of nuts (southern areas), berries and mushrooms is an important subsidiary subsistence branch.