Reindeer husbandry and carnivores

Welcome to the website of the monitoring programme for semi-domestic reindeer in Norway.

Low calf recruitment, high losses of animals, and consequently, low productivity and poor economy has ruled much of the reindeer herding industry for decades. It has been debated to what extent this situation is a result of high reindeer densities, poor climatic conditions or the return of large carnivores that was until quite recently hunted to ecological extinction in Scandinavia.

The purpose of the programme is to estimate the relative role of various factors affecting losses of semi-domestic reindeer. One pillar in the programme is the open access data base system presented at these webpages where you can study temporal trends, in among other factors, population size, body condition and losses deemed due to carnivores. You can also study temporal trends in the abundance of lynx and wolverine which is known as the two most significant predators on reindeer. Simple correlations among predictor and response variables are available, and you can investigate the relative role of food limitation and predation on reported losses of semi-domestic reindeer to large carnivores.

The idea is that making facts easily available will make it easier to convey that the losses of reindeer that herders report are affected by several factors simultaneously. Simple access to updated time-series might also attract others to more carefully study this carnivore-livestock system. 

Here you may study the development within the reindeer husbandry in Norway. You will find information about reindeer and carnivore abundance, harvest rates, body condition, phenology, plant productivity, recruitment and losses sought compensated for due to large carnivores. You may also see how various variables are interrelated and study the relative importance of predation and food limitation for the reindeer husbandry.

The national monitoring programme for semi-domestic reindeer