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Russian Nature

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Biomes and Regions of Northern Eurasia

Boreal Forests

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Indigenous Peoples of Taiga

Taiga is the home of eighteen indigenous peoples whose population (including the indigenous population of the tundra) exceeds 200 000. The main traditional occupations are hunting, fishing, reindeer herding, and crafts. The main game species are reindeer and musk deer, while squirrel, sable, and weasel are hunted for fur. Hunting is usually restricted to winter when the quality of fur is better and meat can be preserved for many days. Taiga reindeer herding is different from that in the tundra region. The herds are smaller and most of the taiga herders have a semi-settled lifestyle in contrast to the nomads of the tundra. Some tribes combine herding with other occupations, particularly fishing. In summer, such tribes split, a part of the community migrating north with the herd and others staying in the taiga and taking fishing as their main occupation. Many areas in the taiga and forest-tundra biomes have been developed and the availability of good-quality pastures is limited, especially in Western Siberia, which is the largest oil- and gas-producing region. There is increasingly less space for the reindeer in taiga, a place whose name originates from the Nenets word tyi-reindeer.



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