Reindeer a great arctic resource

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Reindeer a great arctic resource

IUCN red list classification as vulnerable


Scientific Name: Rangifer tarandus
English name: Reindeer, Caribou, Peary Caribou
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Cetartiodactyla
Family: Cervidae
Link to Red List page: Reindeer red list

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Reindeer primarily is present in the tundra and taiga of all arctic and sub-arctic region


the male can be from 180 to 220 cm lenght and weight between 90 to 220 kg . The high at the shoulder can be 90 to 150 cm. . The female can be from 160 to 200 cm length and weight between 80 to 120 kg.
Where to find: in Svalbard, Norway, Finland, Russia, Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Mongolia and China.


the reindeer is a wild and semi-domestic animal, he have a fundamental importance for the arctic and sub arctic population. People indigenous use reindeer for food, clothing, shelter, and tools.
He is the animal who do the greatest migrations worldwide , some North American population cover every year around 5000 km, with daily moving up 55 km. The herd during the spring migration can be between 50.000 to 500.000 specimens. In autumn the huge herds will be divided in several small group and will begine the mating season.
They love to eat the reindeer lichen, is the base of their diet but they can eat even grass and leaves as willows and birches. In the winter they remove the snow up to find their lichens. The mating season is between the end of September and the beginning of November and the births will be may or June.

The reindeer is predated generally by gray wolf, wolverine, brown bear, polar bear and golden eagles, but usually this predators they kill calves or diseases specimens. It is easy to understand, the fundamental importance of this animal in the ecosystem of the arctic and sub-arctic regions, is important for predator and is important even for native like Inuit.

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Major risk:

there is not a single major risk but a combination of factors, one important is the landscape changing. The develop of industries and the transport infrastructures are modifying the migration routes. Even hunting have is impact in the population decline, though is regulated by law. The Arctic is in serious decline, the ecosystem is absolutely at risk and the effect are under the eyes of everyone in the world, only the Heads of States and Governments don’t see it. American administration have released some days ago the new permit for start drilling again in Alaska, after removed the Obama administration prohibition. Another example of clever vision of the future.

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