ULAN BATOR, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- The reindeer population in Mongolia has increased to 3,127, up 491 from last year, data released by the country's National Statistics Office (NSO) showed on Friday.
There were more than 2,000 reindeers in Mongolia during the 1970s. However, the number dropped to 926 at the end of 2007 as reindeer herders butchered and sold their reindeer for lack of sustainable incomes, bringing the animal to the brink of extinction.
The Mongolian government has taken measures to improve the reindeer herders' living standards by giving them monthly allowance and promoting tourism, bringing the number of reindeers back to 2,000 in 2016. Since then the reindeer population has been growing continuously.
For example, the government provides a monthly allowance equal to the minimum wage for adults of households with reindeers, and a monthly allowance equal to half of the minimum wage for their children. Currently, the minimum wage in the country is 420,000 Mongolian Tugriks (about 150 U.S. dollars).
Mongolian reindeer herders only live in the northern province of Khuvsgul where around 90 households keep reindeers.