Reinbase.no is an independent provider of knowledge of productivity and losses within the reindeer husbandry in Norway.
Large carnivores cause losses of semi-domestic reindeer and livestock (notably sheep) on ranges. Food limitation, accidents, diseases and ageing are other sources of losses. Previous studies of reindeer have shown that food limitation is and important direct and indirect cause of death because starvation increases vulnerability to predation. Food limitation may be caused by unfavourable climatic conditions such as long winters, leading to late onset of spring and/or low plant productivity. High reindeer densities may also result in food limitation.
It has proven difficult to understand to what extent losses of semi-domestic reindeer are due to predation or food limitation, providing a breeding ground for controversies over these issues. Accordingly, there is a pressing need for repeatable, science-based knowledge as a basis for administrative and political decisions related to the management of reindeer and large carnivores.
The national monitoring programme for semi-domestic reindeer aims to provide easy access to data on reindeer abundance, carnivore abundance and environmental conditions within the reindeer herding areas in Norway. These data form the basis for statistical estimates of losses and productivity within the reindeer husbandry.
We make continuous effort in collecting data and developing methods to increase our knowledge of how reindeer are affected by food limitation and predation.
Reinbase.no represents a new, science-based, model of presenting and granting easy access to data on productivity and losses within the reindeer husbandry. The idea is that making information easily available will make analyses those presented here more acceptable, as anyone can plot the trend in herd population sizes, calf slaughter weights, predator densities and climate variables and thereby look at the interrelationships. Furthermore, this database makes it easy for researchers to evaluate conclusions as new data appear, new analysis methods are developed, and new questions arise.
Data on large carnivores are gathered from Rovdata, which is responsible for the monitoring programme of large carnivores i Norway. Data on the reindeer husbandry is delivered by the Norwegian Agriculture Agency.