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Home* News and Stories → No Christ­mas gifts? May­be it’s the reinde­er…

No Christ­mas gifts? May­be it’s the reinde­er…

If San­ta Claus does not bring gifts on Satur­day, that could also be due to his reinde­er. Whe­ther they can pull the sledge hea­vi­ly packed with gifts is ques­tionable. Becau­se the reinde­er on Spitz­ber­gen are get­ting thin­ner!

The sub­spe­ci­es – the Sval­bard reinde­er – is alre­a­dy some­what smal­ler than their rela­ti­ves on the main­land. 135 ani­mals were weig­hed by the rese­ar­cher Ste­ve “Mis­ter Reinde­er” Albon from the James Hut­ton Insti­tu­te in Scot­land sin­ce 1994 every year in April. Rudolph Nor­mal­ren­tier lost seven kilos during this peri­od. Reason is that the ani­mals find less to eat in win­ter.

Hun­gry: Sval­bard reinde­er

And who is to bla­me? Most likely once again cli­ma­te chan­ge. Becau­se of hig­her avera­ge tem­pe­ra­tures it rains on Sval­bard more often than it snows. The rain free­zes and forms an ice lay­er on top of the snow. This makes it more dif­fi­cult for the reinde­er to come to the lichens, of which they main­ly live in the win­ter.

Nevert­hel­ess, this does not seem to affect the popu­la­ti­on: Sin­ce the 1990s, the num­ber of Sval­bard reinde­er has risen from 800 to 1400 in the Advent­da­len. What actual­ly sounds like good news could lead to a fami­ne among the reinde­er in the long term as the com­pe­ti­ti­on for food increa­ses.

We keep our fin­gers crossed for San­ta Claus and his reinde­er, and in any case wish ever­y­bo­dy a Mer­ry Christ­mas!

Sources: TV2, Dagens Nærings­liv



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last modification: 2016-12-24 · copyright: Rolf Stange