The Yamal Peninsula (Russian: полуо́стров Яма́л), located in Yamal-Nenets autonomous district of northwest Siberia, Russia, extends roughly 700 km (435 mi) and is bordered principally by the Kara Sea, Baydaratskaya Bay on the west, and by the Gulf of Ob on the east. In the language of its indigenous inhabitants, the Nenets, "Yamal" means "End of the World".
In the Russian Federation, the Yamal peninsula is the place where traditional large-scale nomadic reindeer husbandry is best preserved. On the peninsula, several thousand Nenets and Khanty reindeer herders hold about half a million domestic reindeer. At the same time, Yamal is inhabited by a multitude of migratory bird species.
Yamal holds Russia's biggest natural gas reserves. The Yurkharovskoye gas field is planned to be developed by the Russian gas monopolist Gazprom by 2011–2012, the Yamal project, a fact which put the future of nomadic reindeer herding at considerable risk. An estimate of the gas reserves here is 55 trillion cubic meters (tcm), the world's biggest gas reserves and Russia's largest energy project in history. The area is largely undeveloped, but work is going on with three large infrastructure projects – the new 572km Obskaya–Bovanenkovo railway due to be completed in 2011, a gas pipeline, and several bridges.
The well preserved remains of Lyuba, a 37,000 year old mammoth calf, were found by a reindeer herder on the peninsula in the summer of 2007. The animal was female and was determined to be one month old at the time of death.
- Ялмал, статья ЭСБЕ (Russian)
- Статья БСЭGreat Soviet Encyclopedia (Russian)
- Yamal Culture (English)
- Yamal Peninsula Nenets (English)
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