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Mongolia hunting ban clashes with centuries old tradition

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By Euronews  with Reuters
A Dhuka reindeer herder in northern Mongolia
A Dhuka reindeer herder in northern Mongolia   -   Copyright  Reuters

A battle between environmental regulations and ancestral traditions is playing out in the frozen forests of northern Mongolia. It has been the hunting ground of the Dhuka reindeer herders for thousands of years but that is now under threat from a hunting ban imposed by the state.

"They have traditionally relied on natural resources for survival. But starting from when the land was classified as a protected area, The system we've started is one where you if you want to use the natural resources you need to get permission and pay for it" explained the Head Ranger of the Tengis Shishged National Park, Tumursukh Jal. 

Officials say they are trying to protect rare species such as moose, red deer and musk deer, that have been increasingly targeted by Dhuka hunters who then sell their game to Chinese and Russian clients. The government has compensated the hunters with a monthly handout, but they say their opposition to the ban is less about money than about their way of life.