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Scandinavien Reindeer

The reindeer is a deer living in flocks in the northernmost parts of Europe, Asia and North America. The reindeer are ruminant and both the male and female reindeer carry antlers. It does not take to heat very well and tends instead to seek the high mountains during hot summer days.

In the summer the main food is grass, leaves, herbs and mushrooms, of which the reindeer builds its fat to last the poor grazing of the winter. Then it feeds largely on various lichens and shrubs, continuously using the fat saved up during summer. The reindeer is well adapted to snow and cold. The winter fur is thick, consisting of a layer of wool close to the skin and long hairs covering it, filled with air. The reindeer can save both water and energy when it is cold.

In the nose cavity there are mucous membrane discs warming and moisturing the inhalated air before it reaches the trachea. The exhaled air is condensed into steam on the discs. The supply of winter grazing depends not only on the size of the grazing land and its supply of lichens but even more so on the availability of the food. Ice crusts on the ground or a hard ice surface on the snow are among the greatest problems for reindeer. The grazing conditions on large clear cuts are worsened due to unfavourable snow quality and damaged lichens.

The lack of tree pendent lichen is a serious risk for malnutrition for the reindeer when the grazing from the ground is unavailable on large areas. The reindeer does not feed on pine, spruce or any other coniferous trees.

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