Nice short animation that illustrates how human changes to the landscape (roads, railways, hydropower, cabins, tourist trails) have impacted the wild reindeer herds in Dovrefjell and Rondane, southern Norway – which is home to Europes’ last wild herd of reindeer. Of course these landscape changes impact semi domesticated reindeer in the same way. The film was produced by the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research as part of the project ‘Renewable-Reindeer‘
The Icelandic design company Gagarin recently completed a 600 m2 design of the wild reindeer exhibition in the Hardangervidda National Park centre in Norway. The Hardangervidda park is Norway’s largest national park and it holds the largest wild reindeer population in Europe. The exhibition is comprised of 13 interactive installations which cover almost everything one can learn about wild reindeer. Users get to explore and experience, via tangible and unique solutions, the various historical, biological and social aspects related to the existence of the reindeer and learn about the various threats that are being imposed on their habitat – mostly by people.
The result is striking. Images from the exhibition here.
Finland’s rare wild forest reindeer may be facing total extinction, says the Finnish Hunters` Association. The group is calling for Finland and the EU to jointly protect the wild reindeer by further regulating the population of large predators.
The sharp drop in the number of wild Finnish forest reindeer (Rangifer tarandus fennicus) is attributed to the growing numbers of wolves, lynx and bears that prey upon them. The Hunters` Association is calling for more permits to hunt these predators in parts of the country where they threaten wild reindeer.
In Kainuu, in the northwest, the wild forest reindeer population has decline by half over the past decade. Counts now give an estimate of only about 800 of the animals left there. In addition to the wild forest reindeer in Kainuu, there are about 1000 in the old-growth forest areas of west-central Finland.
The wild Finnish forest reindeer are the last population of their species in the world.
While the world has heard a lot about the impact of the Icelandic volcano on air traffic and the economy, what about its impact on Iceland’s reindeer?
In the last few weeks, the world could hardly have failed to have heard about the Icelandic volcano with the difficult to pronounce (for non Icelandic speakers) name. Air traffic has been disrupted across Europe and airlines have lost over a billion dollars in lost revenue. The impact on the regions climate is unclear but has been the topic of much speculation.
Latest information received from the Icelandic Meteorological Office indicates that the explosive activity from the Eyjafjallajökull volcano is continuing, with the ash plume reaching heights of up to around 18,000 ft. The Icelandic Met Office state that there are no signs that the eruption is about to end, with the volcanic eruption remaining dynamic.
(pic: Páll Stefánsson) In areas of reindeer husbandry in Norway, Sweden or Finland, it is difficult to imagine that a reindeer that wandered onto a farm would get much hospitality. Harder still to imagine is that a Minister for Environment might get involved to argue that the reindeer must be protected and allowed to live, over the wishes of their national Environment agency. Even the farmer concerned wants to rescue ‘Lif’, an orphaned reindeer calf. Yet, that is exactly what has happened in Iceland, which as we all know is a little bit different. Read the full story here.
Many may not know that there are reindeer on Iceland at all, where a small scattered wild herd (no herding here) is concentrated in the East of the island and is subjected to an annual commercial hunt.
The staff at East Iceland Natural History Institute is quite busy these days making reindeer calves and counting wild reindeers in the eastern part of Iceland. One staff member was lucky to get away alive when a reindeer attacked him.