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Daily Archives: 1. December 2008 − News & Stories


Natu­ral fluc­tua­tions of reinde­er: 2008 not a good year in Spits­ber­gen

It was quite obvious in the field due to many dead reinde­er, but now it is “offi­ci­al”, becau­se foun­ded on sci­en­ti­fic data: 2008 was not a good year of the Spits­ber­gen reinde­er. During free­zing fol­lo­wing on a warm spell ear­ly in 2008, the tun­dra was cover­ed with a lay­er of ice, which made access to food dif­fi­cult. In April 2008, the ani­mals were on avera­ge 21 % less in weight than nor­mal, and only 10 % of the adult fema­les had cal­ves in June.

Strong annu­al fluc­tua­tions of the reinde­er popu­la­ti­on are natu­ral and quite nor­mal in Spits­ber­gen. The popu­la­ti­on can quick­ly reco­ver in good years, alt­hough it may beco­me exc­tinct local­ly.

Not doing gre­at: Spits­ber­gen reinde­er in De Geerd­a­len (July 2008).

Natural fluctuations of reindeer: 2008 not a good year in Spitsbergen

Source: Sval­bard Sci­ence Forum

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