Taimyr reindeer change migration routes

Taimyr reindeer change migration routes

July 24, 2023

Scientists monitor animals using satellite collars.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. Scientists from the Siberian Federal University, together with the Ministry of Ecology and Rational Nature Management of the Krasnoyarsk region, are monitoring the migration of wild reindeer in Taimyr in places where animals traditionally gather in summer.

“We conduct all observations online. For these purposes, animals are marked with satellite collars, which are sensors that transmit a signal to the GPS/GLONASS satellite system.

To date, all planned 25 sensors have been installed on reindeer. The data is displayed on the map, which allows real-time tracking of the ungulates’ movement direction, places of stops and deer camps for calving”, the regional Ecology Ministry says”.

It also notes that the Taimyr indigenous peoples’ representatives provided serious assistance to scientists in finding reindeer catching sites for attaching beacons.

According to experts, in the conditions of the vast habitat of the Taimyr deer population and the inaccessibility of these territories, the use of satellite collars is necessary. Tracking with their help has already been carried out previously.

As it turned out, compared with, for example, the 1960s, the length of reindeer stay in traditional places of calving and summer feeding has decreased from 7–8 months to 60–63 days. It was also possible to establish that the movements of wild deer deviated from the main migration routes: in just one season they shifted by 180-220 kilometers.

Domestic deer are only conditionally different from wild ones: it is impossible to completely domesticate these animals. One of the pressing problems of reindeer herders during periods of migration is that domestic reindeer herds often leave with wild herds.

The monitoring data will form the basis of the plan for the aviation census of the Taimyr deer population, scheduled for 2024. Scientists have to examine 370 thousand square kilometers. Population monitoring is carried out within the state program Environmental Protection and of Natural Resources Reproduction.

Recall that Norilsk scientists have attributed the wild reindeer to the most endangered species. Poachers add much to the reduction of the population. Now animals are changing their migration routes, adapting to climate change.

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Text: Victor Borodin, Photo: Denis Kozhevnikov

July 24, 2023

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