Reindeer Ferry Warming Up in Norway

April 8, 2010 • Philip BurgessReindeer

In northern Norway, summer pastures for reindeer are often located on the coastal islands of Finnmark and Troms counties. Traditionally, reindeer swim across from the mainland to the islands but with increasing pasture losses and migratory route fragmentation, since the early 1970s, many herders use a reindeer ‘ferry’ to transport reindeer over distances that have now become too far to swim (reindeer are exellent swimmers).

Reindeer ferry season is about to begin this year on April 20th from Balnes in Balsfjord and some 15,000 reindeer from 20 reindeer herding districts will make the ferry ride by May 9th.  National Geographic featured a short article on this unusual form of transport in collaboration with the International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry which you can read here.

Source: LMD

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