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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Norway. Reindeer herders are facing a problem due to climate change

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The effects of climate change are increasingly felt by Norwegian reindeer, and along with them by their herders. In winter, it rains more and more often, and when the ground begins to freeze, animals cannot get food. – Reindeer herding has become difficult because the conditions are more demanding, admits breeder Nils Mathis Sara.

In winter, reindeer usually find their own food. They dig through the snow and thus find grass, moss and lichen. Over recent years, winters in Norway have started to become milder. Rainfall is becoming more frequent. Water that falls to the ground freezes, and when it gets colder, a layer of ice forms, preventing the reindeer from getting to their food.

As the breeder of these animals, Nils Mathis Sara, says, for several years now he has had to buy feed every winter so that the reindeer can survive this season.

“Animals can't cope”

– Reindeer grazing has become difficult because conditions are more demanding. The weather has been less stable for about 10 or 15 years and has created new challenges for reindeer herding, says Sara. Since February this year, the man has been walking through his pastures every other day to spread nutritious pellets on them. This generates costs.

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Shepherds have to feed their reindeerReuters

This is not the only problem

Reindeer's difficulty in finding food on their own also creates other problems. As Sara says, she notices hundreds of other reindeer in her pastures eating the spilled pellets. Moreover, he adds that feeding reindeer causes them to gradually become domesticated animals, which turns shepherds into farmers.

Main photo source: Reuters



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