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Reindeer husbandry literature review

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Jouni Filppa, 2005. Reindeer husbandry in Finland. Rangifer 25, 59–62. [1]. DOI:

The paper provides statistic data on reindeer husbandry in Finland, presents locations involved and managerial approaches. Reindeer husbandry in Finland takes place in Province of Lapland and partly in Province Oulu. The total area, occupied by reindeer husbandry reaches over one third of the total country area. There are 56 reindeer herding cooperatives, where each cooperative has separate area for herding (the map is provided). In 2002/2003, 5,344 reindeer owners were registered, of which 800 – 1000 were Saami people, and the rest were Finns.

N.J.C. Tyler, J.M. Turi, M.A. Sundset, K. Strom Bull, M.N. Sara, E. Reinert, N. Oskal, C. Nellemann, J.J. McCarthy, S.D. Mathiesen, M.L. Martello, O.H. Magga, G.K. Hovelsrud, I. Hanssen-Bauer, N.I. Eira,, I.M.G. Eira, R.W. Corell, 2007. Saami reindeer pastoralism under climate change: Applying a generalized framework for vulnerability studies to a sub-arctic social–ecological system. Global Environmental Change 17, 191–206. [2]. doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2006.06.001

The paper describes different factors which may affect reindeer pastoralism in Finnmark (Northern Norway) and cause the change of the herding approaches and traditions.

Saami reindeer herders, featured nomadic life-style, change pastures twice a year. In summer season (from April-May to September) they use the northernmost coastal mountainous part of Finnmark (70°N and higher latitudes), and in winter time they drive their herds to the southern upland parts of Finnmark (about 65°N and lower latitudes) featured drier environmental conditions than coastal parts. The map of the routs is provided. In 2004, about 2000 reindeer owners were registered in Finnmark that amounted to 75% of all reindeer owners in Norway.

Large-scale climate change may have influence on pastures productivity. Among other significant reasons of ranges loss are infrastructure development (construction of dams, power lines, roads). The latter has caused the loss of about 35% of productive coastal pastures in Finnmark during the last 50 years.

Jon Moen, 2008. Climate Change: Effects on the Ecological Basis for Reindeer Husbandry in Sweden. A Journal of the Human Environment 37, 304–311. [3]. doi:[304:CCEOTE]2.0.CO;2

In Sweden, reindeer husbandry is spread to the north, occupying about 40% of the country (the map is provided). The husbandry is based on migratory system. In summer, alpine ranges close to Norwegian boarder are the most preferable for reindeer prosperity, while in winter time herds should be driven to pine heaths in the boreal forests closer to the Baltic Sea.

Samuel Roturier, Marie Roue, 2009. Of forest, snow and lichen: Sami reindeer herders’ knowledge of winter pastures in northern Sweden. Forest Ecology and Management 258, 1960–1967. [4]. doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2009.07.045

The paper considers the forestry as a factor affecting the winter reindeer pastures in Sweden and some linguistic features of Sami herders. The survey covers four communities located in boreal Sweden. All communities drive their herds between summer (Scandinavian mountain range) and winter (forest grasslands) pastures as reindeer winter diet must comprise lichen. In winter season, communities basically include siblings and relatives with total amount of such groups of about 30. The livestock grazing by each group may account for 300 – 3000 heads. The map of site location is provided.

Mauri Nieminen, Ulla Heiskari, 1989. Diets of freely grazing and captive reindeer during summer and winter. Rangifer 9, 17–34. [5]. DOI:

The paper provides the content of reindeer forage during winter and summer season in Finnish reindeer herding area. During summer reindeers prefer plants enriched with digestible crude protein such as wiregrass; in winter they rely on ground and arboreal lichens with high energy content.