About 200 #reindeer found dead in #Svalbard, #Norway
An annual census of wild reindeer by the Norwegian Polar Institute found 200 had started to death over winter due to climate change. Photograph: Geoffrey Reynaud/Getty Images/iStockphoto
About 200 reindeer have been found dead from starvation in the Arctic archipelago Svalbard, an unusually high number, the Norwegian Polar Institute has said, pointing the finger at climate crisis.
During an annual census of the wild reindeer population on the group of islands about 1,200km (746 miles) from the north pole, three researchers from the institute identified the carcasses of about 200 deer believed to have starved to death last winter.
Ashild Onvik Pedersen, the head of the census, said the high degree of mortality was a consequence of climate crisis, which according to climate scientists, is happening twice as fast in the Arctic as the rest of the world.
“Climate change is making it rain much more. The rain falls on the snow and forms a layer of ice on the tundra, making grazing conditions very poor for animals,” she said.
In winter, Svalbard reindeer find vegetation in the snow using their hooves, but alternating freezing and thawing periods can create layers of impenetrable ice, depriving the reindeers of nourishment.
Courtesy of theguardian.com