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Schreiben am Nordkapp

Nordic Skiing in The Wild

How to Get Around in the North with Public Transportation

Before Reality TV: Grobbelaar's 71 degrees North to Anfield Road

Northern Lights – Around the Clock

The End of the Toll Booth to Magerøya/North Cape



The Loss of Grazing Land for the Reindeer

Since 1940, piece by piece, the reindeer have lesser places to graze.  The scenario is that an additional 21 000 km2 (the equivalent of 2/3 of Finnmark) will be lost in the Barents region by 2030.

Scientific reports claim that reindeer avoid areas of human activity. Especially females with calves may keep a distance of several kilometers from tourist resort, wind mills, hydro-electricity facilities, pipelines, roads, buildings and other infrastructure.

The reindeer will then crowd the remaining undisturbed areas. The increased competition will reduce growth and production.

It is a paradox; however, reindeer seem to enjoy city-life just as well as humans. The northernmost town in the world – Hammerfest – has constructed fences around the town to keep the reindeer out. The mayor, Alf Jakobsen, joked during the local election in 2011 that he was contemplating a career as a reindeer herder if he lost the vote.

The number of domesticated reindeer has doubled to around 200 000 in Norway since 1900. More than 40 % of the land area of mainland Norway is available for reindeer husbandry, albeit barren terrain: Almost 1 square kilometer per reindeer.

The danger of climate change could have a severe impact on the grazing conditions. If mean temperature and precipitation increases, both winter and summer pastures may change. Inland, in particular, more frequent icing during the winter may stress the reindeer to migrate more.

In the summer, more unwanted shrub than open-vegetated pastures will grow. Higher temperatures bring along more unwanted numbers of parasites and diseases.



September 2011


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