Wild reindeer under threat

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(YLE, 13 June 2010) — Finland’s rare wild forest reindeer may be facing total extinction, says the Finnish Hunters’ Association. The group is calling for Finland and the EU to jointly protect the wild reindeer by further regulating the population of large predators. The sharp drop in the number of wild Finnish forest reindeer (Rangifer tarandus fennicus) is attributed to the growing numbers of wolves, lynx and bears that prey upon them. The Hunters’ Association is calling for more permits to hunt these predators in parts of the country where they threaten wild reindeer. In Kainuu, in the northwest, the wild forest reindeer population has decline by half over the past decade. Counts now give an estimate of only about 800 of the animals left there. In addition to the wild forest reindeer in Kainuu, there are about 1000 in the old-growth forest areas of west-central Finland. The wild Finnish forest reindeer are the last population of their species in the world.

Original article here

Hornorkesteret knows this subspecies of the reindeer family, and we have visited captive specimens at Nordens Ark nature park in Southern Sweden. Living mostly in forests, they are smaller than regular reindeer and their antler crown is narrower so they can move quicker among the trees.

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