ULAN BATOR, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- Mongolia kept 67.1 million head of livestock at the end of 2020, down by 5.5 percent from the previous year, the country's National Statistics Office (NSO) said Wednesday.
An NSO preliminary result of the 2020 livestock census showed that sheep and goats accounted for the majority of all livestock.
The main reason for the decline was an increasing supply of meat to the market in several provinces at risk of experiencing extreme wintry weather, known as "dzud," said the NSO.
Dzud is a Mongolian term to describe the frigid winter that comes after a dry summer and causes a great number of livestock to die of starvation or cold.
At least six of all 21 provinces of Mongolia are likely to experience dzud or near-dzud conditions this winter, the country's Food and Agriculture Ministry said, noting that these provinces had a bad summer in 2020.
Thousands of herders lose their animals almost every year due to dzud. In 2016, more than 1 million animals died from extreme weather conditions.