Scientists say reindeer may be shrinking due to warming Wild reindeer forage for food on the island of Spitsbergen which is part of the Svalbard archipelago in Norway. (Ben Birchall/PA, File via AP/AP Photo/Igor Novikov)
Scientists say reindeer may be shrinking due to warming
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Reindeer living on the Arctic island of Svalbard are getting smaller. Scientists say climate change may be the cause.
 
Scientists from Britain and Norway have found that adult Svalbard reindeer born in 2010 weigh 12 percent less on average than those born in 1994.
 
Ecologist Steve Albon of Scotland's James Hutton Institute says rising temperatures in the Arctic mean Svalbard is getting more rain. The rain creates a hard ice sheet. The island's reindeer can't easily break through it. So it is more difficult for them to reach food.
 
Reindeer populations are also increasing. This is due to warmer summers. More reindeer means increased competition among them.
 
Albon says researchers think there is a correlation between rising temperatures and reindeer weight. He says more research is needed to confirm the link.
 
Their findings were presented Dec. 12 at a meeting of the British Ecological Society.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
How is warmer weather affecting reindeer?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (43)
  • jadenr1-har
    12/15/2016 - 01:55 p.m.

    Warm weather is affecting the reindeer because they are use to the cold weather.Maybe there's too much fur on the reindeer.The reindeer are not getting all of their food because if the babies. The reindeer don’t like the sun getting them because it makes it hot on them.They're on a small island so that means they don’t have a lot of food.

  • tyk1-har
    12/15/2016 - 02:05 p.m.

    Warmer weather affects reindeer because they are so use to the cold weather. The baby reindeer are born more and that brings up the population of reindeer. The warmer weather makes it harder to find food. Reindeer mostly need cold weather to survive but in winter in any where except areas that don't get cold or snow. That is why warmer weather affects reindeer.

  • elliota-orv
    12/15/2016 - 02:59 p.m.

    Because it is making more rain which causes ice sheets to form, therefore making it harder to find food.

  • michaelm2-vos
    12/16/2016 - 11:12 a.m.

    This is great! Finally some animal populations are increasing.

  • giavannac-orv
    12/16/2016 - 02:33 p.m.

    Reindeer are increasing their population in warmer weather.

  • samanthas-1-ste
    12/19/2016 - 01:10 p.m.

    The warmer weather is allowing the reindeer to reproduce more, so the competition is greater. The ice is also affecting them during the winter months.

  • daltons1-ste
    12/19/2016 - 01:16 p.m.

    This is depressing and it should wake some people up about what our effect on the Earth. Reindeer are supposed to be giant majestic creatures and the Human Races' combined effort is changing their physical appearance. This is angering and disappointing.

  • joeg-orv
    12/20/2016 - 12:36 p.m.

    I actually had no idea reindeer were real animals.

  • tylerb-1-coo
    12/21/2016 - 09:22 a.m.

    The weather can affect on all reindeers due more ice thickness, less food and more reindeers. Ice thickness is how hard to get food. Less food can be from the ice, more food for reindeer can get larger, less food for reindeer will get smaller. More reindeers can start food or faime for reindeers.

  • chadm-orv
    12/21/2016 - 11:10 a.m.

    Because it is making more rain which causes ice sheets to form, therefore making it harder to find food for the reindeer.

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