Often, families split up for the winter then gather together on the plateaus for summer, when the children are out of school and it's an easier way of life.Then, from September, the reindeer can be herded by a single person while the rest of the family stays in town." Further challenges come from the Mongolian government, which now protects some of the animals the Dukha once hunted – including moose, red deer and bear – in the name of conservation.According to the STEPS survey 49 percent of Mongolian men are overweight or obese due to unhealthy diets and lack of exercise.

This combination of risk factors has a negative impact on life expectancy and quality of life of men in Mongolia.”Thirty three scientific papers were presented at the conference that was divided into four large sessions: general health and aging in Asia Pacific men, infertility and sexual function, andrology and urology, and oncology and urology.

“The conference has broadly covered all disciplines related to men’s health and aging enabling scientific interactions and nurturing future collaborations to improve men’s health and overall health services in the countries of Asia Pacific region,” said Dr Nansalmaa Naidan, the Conference Chair and co-organizer and the President of the Mongolian Society for Sexual Medicine.

The reindeer, meanwhile, need to stay on the move to find food, and travel between high and low ground depending on the season. "The deer is a totem and each person in the tribe is connected to one spirit deer which protects that person, absorbing all disease," says Sardar.

"The Dukha do not have enough reindeer to use them for meat, so the only time they eat deer is when the spirit deer dies; it's a ritual, almost Christian – [like] eating the body of Christ.

The Dukha are staying closer to towns so that their children can be near hospitals and schools; some even trained as vets in the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar, and are now integrating veterinary science with their traditional beliefs.

However, if the deer don't keep moving, they suffer. "Do they stay close to their kids in town, or do they move around for the sake of their reindeer?

The shamans also transform into spirit animals, crossing over into the spirit world to commune, and sometimes the spirits come over in the guise of an animal.

It's very beautiful when you go into the forest, because every animal they encounter is loaded with hidden significance." Their way of life, however, is now under threat, in part self-induced.

Hamid Sardar first visited the Dukha people, an endangered tribe of nomadic hunters in Mongolia, in 2000, when he was working for an American university.