Scientists say reindeer may be shrinking due to warming
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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How is warmer weather affecting reindeer?
Write your answers in the comments section below

  • wyattc1-har
    1/03/2017 - 12:38 p.m.

    It is effecting the reindeer because they are use to colder weather so if it warms up they aren't use to it. This is bad because the predators that eat elk will go hungry. This is good for the plants they eat because they won't be eaten that much. It is also bad because there will be less reindeer to repopulate. We need to take some of the reindeer in or we should move them to a different place that is cold place so they can survive.

  • sylviemb-buh
    1/03/2017 - 02:55 p.m.

    Warmer weather is affecting the way reindeer eat. The warmer it is, the more rain. More rain means more ice sheets. It is hard for the reindeer to break through the ice sheets in ordered to find food. So their diet is getting smaller and smaller, causing the reindeer's weight to decrease.

  • Anastasia-E2
    1/04/2017 - 10:25 a.m.

    I think that the reindeer shrinking is either a bad thing or a good thing I'm unsure but for me it is worrying to have them shrinking!

  • aidend2-smi
    1/04/2017 - 09:32 p.m.

    It says that the warmer weather is increasing the population which means they have to fight more than usual.

  • chasen-smi
    1/05/2017 - 12:24 a.m.

    The rain turns into ice and then reindeer can't break through also the reindeer popular more in the summer

  • jonathanam-ste
    1/05/2017 - 10:58 a.m.

    The reindeer are getting smaller because it is warmer.

  • isabellab3-bur
    1/05/2017 - 11:29 a.m.

    The warmer weather effects the reindeer because it is melting the ice on which the reindeer live on. Without a habitat to live on they will become extint

  • hayleel-ste
    1/05/2017 - 12:36 p.m.

    This doesn't surprise me at all honestly. I mean even here the weather just can not make up its mind, one day it is decent out then the next day its in the single digits and snowing. That or its really windy and raining, its never ending.

  • talex-dav
    1/05/2017 - 05:40 p.m.

    In response to "Scientists say reindeer may be shrinking due to warming" I find it a little depressing that reindeer are not getting enough food, but i am glad that instead of dying out their population is growing due to warm weather. Maybe Santa will have a few more reindeer;).

  • jacklynt-ste
    1/05/2017 - 08:50 p.m.

    Woah! I did not even know that reindeer actually existed. I thought reindeer were mythical creatures like unicorns.

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