A Changing Way of Life for Mongolia’s Dukha Reindeer Herders

In north central Mongolia, in the taiga along the border with Russia, the Dukha people have lived a nomadic life for generations, roaming with their reindeer herds and hunting to fill in a diet based largely on reindeer milk. Reuters photographer Thomas Peter traveled to Mongolia’s Khovsgol Aimag, near the village of Tsagaannuur, to spend time with several Dukha families, as their traditional culture is facing serious challenges. Peter says: “The Dukha fear they are losing their identity in the face of a conservation order by the government that bans unlicensed hunting on most of their traditional land.” Six years ago, the Mongolian government added most of the Dukha's herding grounds to a national park, aiming to stop unregulated hunting that had caused serious damage over previous decades. A stipend is being paid to families affected, and some have used that money to leave the nomadic life and move to villages where the next generation spends their day with peers in houses and classrooms, instead of with reindeer in tents and forests.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Noah Berger / AP

    Photos of the Week: Taxi Ornament, Russky Bridge, Turning Torso

    Aquarium dining in Singapore, the damaged Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, increasing COVID-19 cases worldwide, a drive-through Santa experience in Los Angeles, and much more

  • Emilio Morenatti / AP

    Photos: The Reality of the Current Coronavirus Surge

    Images from around the world of the current battle against COVID-19, photographed over the past few weeks

  • NASA, ESA, Hubble Heritage Team

    2020 Hubble Space Telescope Advent Calendar

    Every day until Friday, December 25, we’ll present one new image of our universe from NASA’s orbiting telescope.

  • Matt Rourke / AP

    Pennsylvania: Images of the Keystone State

    A few glimpses of the landscape of Pennsylvania, and some of the animals and people calling it home