It is time to count reindeer
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It is time to count reindeer

October 16, 2020

Scientists spoke about the current state of the reindeer populations in the Arctic regions.

The next discussion club meeting of the Arctic Development Project Office (PORA) was called Wild reindeer: research and conservation issues in Russia. Employees of scientific institutions, reserves and national parks from the Arhangelsk and Krasnoyarsk regions, Yakutia, Karelia, Komi and other regions met online. Our territory was represented by Leonid Kolpashchikov, head of the scientific department of the Taimyr Reserves directorate.

PORA explained that the reason for the meeting was the publication of the Reindeer of Eastern Fennoscandia monograph, published with the support of the project office. Participants of the discussion club spoke about the current state of wild deer populations in their regions.

In most northern areas, there is no modern data on the number of wild deer. Meanwhile, these ungulates are one of the main and indigenous components of the ecosystems of the North, with a circumpolar range. They are very important animals both in natural ecosystems and in the traditional economy of indigenous peoples.

As the This Is Taimyr wrote more than once, climate change is changing the habitat and food habits of deer. Practically in all areas of the Arctic and Subarctic, poaching negatively affects them.

For those areas where it is possible to keep records of the birth rate, it is clear that the number is decreasing, and the birth of new calves in most cases is not able to compensate for the losses. This situation is observed on Novaya Zemlya, in the Komi Republic and in other northern territories.

Taimyr scientists have repeatedly drawn the attention of the authorities and the public to the fact that the population of wild reindeer on the peninsula, once one of the largest on the planet, is dramatically decreasing.

“Today, scientists have no idea what the actual number of wild reindeer in the country is. Participants’ presentations highlighted problems common to all Arctic regions. This is the ambiguity of the taxonomic status of individual populations of wild reindeer, the need to obtain fresh knowledge about the number and other parameters of populations, as well as the need to popularize wild reindeer as a national treasure”, said the event moderator, the Laboratory for Sustainable Development director, PhD, Center for Scientific Work of the Russian Academy of Sciences Kola branch deputy director Evgeny Borovichev.

Text: Olga Polyanskaya, Photo: open sources

October 16, 2020

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