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Daily Archives: 21. June 2012 − News & Stories

Reindeer population has doubled since 1994

Local reindeer populations in several important valleys near Longyearbyen such as Semmeldalen, Colesdalen and Adventdalen have doubled since 1994, and this trend is believed to apply also to other parts of the Spitsbergen archipelago. The reason is thought to be a 2 degrees increase of summer temperatures which have led to stronger growth of vegetation. On the other hand, instable weather patterns have led to a higher frequency of bad years with starvation and a loss of parts of the population. The average weight of the individual animals has decreased slightly (about 1 kg). 2012 is likely to become the fourth bad year for reindeer since the beginning of the observations, which include population surveys and the examination of reindeer jaws which are delivered by hunters.

Spitsbergen-reindeer: larger population, thinner individuals since 1994.


Source: Norwegian Polar Institute


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