Reindeer count in Adventdalen

Reindeer count in Adventdalen

Top image: Reindeer male preparing for the rut: growing anthers and sheading winter fur. Photo: Mads Forchhammer/UNIS

The department of Arctic biology at UNIS has for an extended number of years done research and education on the vegetation in Adventdalen and the species eating it  geese as well as reindeer. This year’s total count of reindeer in Adventdalen has just finished.

Text and photos: Mads Forchhammer

This was the 38th consecutive year where all male, female, young and newborn reindeer were registered throughout the entire valley. This year’s count numbered almost as many reindeer as the last two record-breaking years of approximately 1300 individuals.

Through the Norwegian monitoring programme COAT (Climate-Ecological Observatory for Arctic Tundra) coordinated by the University of Tromso, UNIS researchers from Arctic Biology collaborate on answering to what extent climate and biological factors are responsible for the reindeer increase in Adventdalen from about 600 individuals in the early 1980s to twice as many today.

Reindeer counting team in Adventdalen, June 2016. Photo: Mads Forchhammer/UNIS

Counting reindeer 24/7. Ane Guro Moen (left) and Victoria Marie Kristiansen. Photo: Mads Forchhammer/UNIS

Adventdalen, Svalbard, June 2016. Photo: Mads Forchhammer/UNIS

Adventdalen clouded in late June. Photo: Mads Forchhammer/UNIS

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