reindeer

WITH PHOTO COLLECTION

Svalbard reindeer populations rebounding from centuries of hunting

As reindeer go, the animals living on the Norwegian arctic archipelago of Svalbard might not be Santa’s first choice. They’re a smaller subspecies of their common mainland relatives, and to save energy they basically never run. But because they were nearly exterminated from Svalbard around 1900 — and were then protected in 1925 — the animals provide unique insights into how conservation can help species thrive.

Reindeer adapt to climate change by eating seaweed

The arctic archipelago of Svalbard is already experiencing dramatic effects from climate change. A new study shows how these changes can force wild reindeer to graze on seaweed, a strategy that increases their likelihood of survival— and is recorded in their poop.

When the extreme becomes the norm: Svalbard reindeer cope with dramatic climate change

Climate change is increasing the likelihood of extreme winter rain events in the Arctic. These kinds of winter storms on Norway’s Svalbard archipelago can cause a thick cap of ice to cover the forage that reindeer eat. You’d think that more frequent rain-on-snow events would spell the end for these arctic animals — but you’d be wrong.

The magical reindeer nose

Every schoolchild knows about Rudolph the Reindeer and his magic red nose. But Rudolph’s real-life counterparts really do have a magic nose. The colder it is, the better it is in keeping the animals warm and hydrated.

Extreme weather in the Arctic causes problems for people, wildlife

The last week of January 2012 brought wild weather to the Norwegian arctic island archipelago of Svalbard and its largest town, Longyearbyen. A new cross-disciplinary study provides a comprehensive look at the effects of this extreme weather event on everything from town infrastructure to the natural environment.

Where did Norway’s reindeer come from?

The reindeer is a species that has done well for itself. There are nearly 3 million animals across large areas of the northernmost parts of the world. But where did Scandinavian reindeer actually come from?

Northern lights

Secrets of the High North

The Norwegian arctic island archipelago of Svalbard offers scientists the chance to investigate some of the most intriguing – and perplexing – puzzles facing the high north.