Short Wave: A Decade of Dzud - Lessons From Mongolia's Deadly Winters

Mongolia has a many-thousand year history of herding livestock.

But in the past two decades, tens of thousands have left the countryside because of a natural disaster you may have never heard of. “Dzud” kills animals en masse during winter.

Short Wave reporter Emily Kwong brings host Maddie Sofia this story from the grassland steppe, capturing how daily life is compromised by extreme weather and how an agrarian community has adapted to the threat of dzud.

Emily Kwong reported this story for the multimedia series, “Changing Mongolia,” for the Above the Fray Fellowship, a collaboration between the John Alexander Project and NPR. See pictures and additional reporting here.

Follow host Maddie Sofia @maddie_sofia and reporter Emily Kwong @emilykwong1234 on Twitter. Email the show at

This episode was produced by Rebecca Ramirez and edited by Viet Le.


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