Connect with us

Awesome Animals

After Nearly Being Hunted To Extinction, This Adorable, Fluffy Reindeer Species Is On The Rebound

A wild reindeer nearly hunted to extinction back in the 19th and early 20th centuries is showing signs of growth, according to a new study.

The wild Svalbard reindeer, which lives in an archipelago off Norway, was in danger. But after a ban on hunting implemented in 1925, the population has slowly grown. Today, after a survey of reindeer across the islands, scientist Mathilde Le Moullec and her colleagues estimated there were about 22,000 Svalbard reindeer—a population size double that of previous estimations from between 1968-2008.


Wikimedia Commons

“At a global level, the abundances of the 12 reindeer subspecies found throughout the Arctic today appear to have declined, and the species has been listed as vulnerable (i.e., about 40% decline over the past 10–30 yr) by the International Union for Conservation of Nature,” the researchers write in the paper published in The Journal of Wildlife Management. “Our study is an example of the opposite trend pattern.”

In order to create a picture of where the reindeers lived before humans arrived at the archipelago in the 16th century, Le Moullec and her team collected reindeer bones and antlers preserved in the Arctic environment and used radiocarbon dating to estimate the age of the remains. Radiocarbon dating helped them get an idea of which areas of the archipelago housed reindeer populations before they were nearly hunted to extinction. The latest estimates demonstrate that Svalbard reindeer now occupy all the land they historically occupied across Svalbard.

“Reindeer have recolonized their ancient grazing areas, based on the information we have from the antlers and bones,” Le Moullec said. “In the areas where they were extirpated, their numbers still have the potential to increase.”

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Trending Now

NASA Images Show Dramatic Drop In Pollution In China After Coronavirus Outbreak


Two Teensy Tiny Cheetah Cubs Born Via IVF Gives Hope For The Endangered Species

Awesome Animals

Jeff Bezos Is Pledging A Cool $10 Billion Toward Fighting Climate Change—The Earth’s “Biggest Threat”


Students Launch Glass Recycling Program To Turn New Orleans’ Many Empty Bottles Into Erosion-Fighting Sand


I Bless The Rains Down In Australia: Heavy Showers Extinguish Wildfires Down Under


Wombats Are Busy Fighting Drought By Digging Water Holes, But Without Cute Little Hard Hats

Awesome Animals

Orangutan Caught On Camera Offering To Pull Fellow Primate From Snake-Filled Water


Scientists Discover “Radiation-Eating” Fungi In Chernobyl And Not Some Netflix Horror Flick


Germany Is Letting Animals Invade Its Old Military Bases So They Become Wildlife Sanctuaries


Aussie Comic Celeste Barber Makes It Rain To The Tune Of $34 MILLION For Wildfire Relief

Celebs With Heart

Badass Drone Fires Seed Bullets Into The Ground To Plant Trees


Spotify For Fish: Scientists Use Speakers to Bring Marine Life Back To Dying Coral Reefs


Love good news? Get it delivered straight to your inbox!

Sign up FREE!