Fur fishing in the country — one of the most important and the most economically profitable source of foreign exchange. Most trades are furs — a valuable export commodity, mined mainly only in Kazakhstan (muskrat, squirrel-sandstone, marmots, squirrel, weasel, Light, and ermine). So, in all-Union blanks muskrat pelts our country is about 34, according to gopher-sandstone — 95, marmot — 40%, etc.
In 1961, the export value of furs produced in Kazakhstan is estimated at several million gold rubles. In some years, fur harvesting in the country were given currency much more. For example, in 1956 only one Muskrat procured 2 million gold rubles. Previously mined in Kazakhstan and 500 thousand skins polecat light for the same amount in the current world prices. Not without reason, furs called "soft gold."
Because of the high monetary value of furs produced in Kazakhstan, it should be noted that in the 20's and 30's in Soviet exports peltry sometimes stood in first place. At present the export of Kazakh fur gives the opportunity to acquire abroad unique equipment for industry and get rare metals and drugs.
The annual per capita income of the fur trade in recent years is about 2.7 mln., And the best season for hunters earn up to 3.2 thousand rubles. and more.
In the late 20's and early 30's of this century, when the fur trade received in the country especially the big development, income from obtaining furs were the total amount of 5,1-5,8%, and with respect to the non-agricultural income — 25,8-28,1%. In 1928-1929. in Kazakhstan engaged in hunting 175 thousand people, 45 thousand of them (28.5%) were co-operative. At this time, revenue per hunter from the fur trade was in year 53 rubles. 33 kopecks., And the 1st quarter. km hunting ground — 3 rubles. 52 kopecks. (Cohen, 1931). In recent decades, due to the departure of the hunters in the other sectors of the economy and low prices for furs, their number has decreased dramatically.
In the late 30's fur trade was engaged in only 25 thousand hunters, but now their number has decreased to 6 thousand people. However, so far in some entire administrative areas, such as in the Balkhash (Almaty region), income from the fur trade is higher than that of all other credit item in their budget to put together.
In some years, during the fur trade in Kazakhstan produces about 15 million skins of different rodent species — pests of agriculture (gopher ordinary hamster, barn and a water rat). It is estimated that the destruction of such a large number of rodents saves about 3.8 million tons of grain.
In some areas, rodents, mined for skins (marmots, ground squirrels, rats and hamsters) — carriers of dangerous diseases: plague, tularemia, Omsk hemorrhagic fever, and other intensive trade reduces the number of these animals and in this way to prevent outbreaks of epizootic diseases.
Hunters annually destroy a large number of wolves — the worst pests of livestock and hunting. Only in the past twenty years Kazakhstan has destroyed 205 thousand wolves (up to 20 thousand. In some years). As a result, the number of predators in the south is significantly reduced, and the wolf is no longer the scourge it once was. Intensive hunting of wolves saves hundreds of thousands of cattle and game.
Along with the "soft gold" trapping gave thousands of tons of high-quality meat (rabbits, groundhogs, muskrats) and fats (see below).
Hair from skins of rabbits, especially hare — the best raw materials for industry felt.
Processing of fur produced in Kazakhstan, employing several fur factories, including the Alma-Ata. Annual output of only skins squirrels fur industry produces about 40 thousand ladies' and children's fur coat. Finished products made of fur Kazakhstan is estimated at about 25 million rubles.
This is the economic importance of modern trapping and fur industry in Kazakhstan. Obviously, these sectors of the economy provide significant revenue to the country, and, as we shall see below, the currently available resources of fur-bearing animals in a short time can increase the number of pelts produced annually about two times.
Fur-bearing animals of Kazakhstan and the issues of economic use. The country is well known 155 species of wild mammals, about half of them — fur animals. Currently, there are 53 species of fur-bearing animals (for procuring nomenclature), which corresponds to about 72 animal species. In addition, three types of fur skins, fur farming gives a silver-black fox, blue fox and nutria. 40 species of our furs — a valuable export commodity (sable, otter, marten and belodushka, European and American mink, wolverine, lynx, etc.).
Study of the distribution, abundance, ecology and fishery Fur Kazakhstan strongly suggests that this type of natural resources in recent years, used very little, hunting in the country — the most backward sector of the economy and is still being primitive, almost without the use of modern scientific achievements and technology.
Growth of fur products in the country over the last decade took place mainly through the development of the economy and muskrat fur farming, the production of the majority of native species of fur-bearing animals (squirrel-sandstone, steppe marmot and tarbagan, the common ground squirrel, pale weasel, ermine, rabbits of all kinds, etc. ), which gave the fish before the bulk of the fur, decreased sharply. In the past seven years has significantly decreased and harvesting muskrat pelts.
Currently, local furs produced three to four times less than in the late 20's of this century, when the fur trade in the country has been developed particularly well. Blanks skins of animals of some species in recent years, and in relation to their maximum size in the 20-30's: light ferret — 2.2, ermine — 1.4, hare sandstone — 1.7, hare-1 4, hare — 1.1 gopher-sandstone — 10.3%, etc.
The greatest development trapping was in the late 20's. If you compare the size of pieces of fur in 1927-1928. to date (1966), we can easily see how much they have decreased in most species.
Changed dramatically and the proportion of certain types of furs in the blanks. If earlier in the first place was gopher-sandstone (34-50%), then a ferret light (23.6%), red fox (9.6%), hare-sandstone (5.9%), water rat (5.8%), but now — muskrat (50-64%), then the red fox (30%), gopher ordinary gopher-sandstone, etc.
The sharp decline in the size of pieces of skins of animals of most species in the last decade, as a rule, is not a consequence of the reduction in the number of animals, and is mainly due to organizotsionno-economic factors.