Lynx Kill Far More Reindeer Than Science Previously Stated

October 19, 2016 • Philip Burgess

Lynx predatorFascinating research on predators emerging from NINA in Norway regarding the rate and number of reindeer (and sheep) killed by Lynx is far higher than authorities have previously stated. Indeed, the numbers are far closer to that which herders have always claimed, especially in Troms and Finnmark, that predation by Lynx is a major threat to herders’ economy and livelihood.

In February of this year, 10 Lynx were captured and fitted with GPS collars which were monitored by researchers. Once animals were stationary for some time, researchers would then look for dead animals in those areas. Researchers found that a make lynx can kill a reindeer or sheep each day. One lynx in particular killed 100 reindeer.

While compensation for losses to predators are compensated, up until now Finnmark and Troms County reject 90% of all claims. Hans Ole Eira, Head of the Lakkonjárga district is quoted as saying that he is glad that research is finally proving that herders should be believed.

Read the full story here (in Norwegian)


Reindeer Ferry Warming Up in Norway

April 8, 2010 • Philip Burgess

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


Norwegian Reindeer Husbandry Administration Advises Caution

March 29, 2010 • Philip Burgess

The Norwegian Reindeer Husbandry Administration is advising people in the northern Troms and Nordland areas to be particularly aware of reindeer this spring due to difficult grazing and operating conditions.  Easter is a hugely popular holiday period for Norwegians and people are on the move and outdoors.  Reindeer in northern Troms and Nordland have had difficult weather conditions this winter resulting in very poor grazing conditions with deep snow in the forest and lowlands, and a lot of crust and icing in the mountains. They advise that it is important to avoid unrest and disturbances that add additional stress to the reindeer. Especially now as reindeer are heading towards spring and the calving period in May, meaning it is important that reindeer get rest and take care of their last reserves to ensure survival for both adult animals and calves.

The Press release continues that  traffic such as snowmobiling which can be illegal and dogs that are not under control in the grazing areas can cause a lot of problems  for the industry, which are exacerbated after difficult winter conditions. By law, dogs are supposed to be on a lead between April 1-August 20 when near reindeer grazing areas.

More information here at the Norwegian Reindeer Husbandry Administration.