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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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