On November 30, a shipment of thirty reindeer from Yakutia arrived by ferry at the Sakhalin port of Kholmsk in a specially equipped vehicle. The deer are bound for the Nogliki District, where they will join the herd of Yukta, the only farm on Sakhalin that carries on the reindeer herding traditions of the Uilta people. This is the second group of Yakut deer to support the traditional lifestyle of the indigenous people of Sakhalin.
The Sakhalin Reindeer Rescue project began in 2016 and has continued since this time thanks to the support of the Sakhalin-1 Consortium, which consists of the Russian oil company Rosneft, Japan’s SODECO, India’s ONGC Videsh, and Exxon Neftegas Limited. In order to implement this project, Exxon Neftegas Limited, as the operator of the Sakhalin-1 project, developed a trilateral agreement with the Sakhalin Oblast Government and the Regional Council of Authorized Representatives for Indigenous Minorities of the North in Sakhalin Oblast.
Just like the previous group, 30 young deer, including 18 females, 4 males and 8 little deers, were specially selected from the pedigree herd in the Neryungri District of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). In order to do that, representatives of the tribal community of indigenous Uilta minorities from the village of Val in the Nogliki District visited the Neryungri District. Young animals from the Evenk herd, which are accustomed to a harsh climate and are able to endure the cold and forage for food under deep snow, were selected. The first thirty deer that arrived in Sakhalin in October 2016 already successfully adapted to the climate and had offspring last year. At present, there are about 100 deer in the Yukta herd, and the herders hope that such renewal of the herd will provide the impetus to the overall development of traditional farming and land use.
Representatives of Yukta accompanied the valuable cargo along the entire route of the specially equipped vehicle, looking after the animals. Next month, the Yakut guests will be quarantined in a specially equipped pen before joining the main herd.