Mongolian reindeer herders are fighting for their survival

Dutch photographer Jeroen Toirkens has captured the life of today’s Mongolian reindeer herders or Dukha people.

There are 15 ethnic groups in Mongolia; each has their own tradition and culture. The majority of the 3 million Mongolians, who sparsely populated the vast landscape, are Khalh Mongols (86%).

One of the smaller ethnic groups who live near Russian and Mongolian border is called Tsaatan or Reindeer herders. These distinct nomads carry on with their life remotely in the deep forest of Khuvsgol province, which is famous for its Asia’s second largest fresh water lake, Khuvsgul.

Their self- sufficient life has kept them separate from modern civilization for hundreds of years. However in the past 15 years globalization has been threatening their independence and environment. From recent studies there are only 200 Tsaatan families left in Mongolia and the number is decreasing a year by year.

See the other photos of Jeroen Toirkens