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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

By the way, my new book is in print and it can now be orde­red 🙂 it is a pho­to book with the tit­le “Nor­we­gens ark­ti­scher Nor­den (1): Spitz­ber­gen – vom Polar­licht bis zur Mit­ter­nachts­son­ne”, with Ger­man text Click here for fur­ther details!

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