Svalbard Reindeer

Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer, visited me over Christmas so let’s learn about his friends….

Reindeer Seaching for Food

Let’s enjoy the sun while it lasts, however, there is no problem with visiting the colder temperature for a bit. Although at Christmas it is said Reindeers will pull Santa’s sleigh, they can’t fly. But in fact, they do sometimes have red noses. It is said that Reindeers were the first domesticated animals about 2,000 years ago. They were farmed and every part of them was used, the fur was for coats, meat for eating and antlers are used to make utensils.

The Svalbard Reindeer is the smallest species of reindeer in the world. They will typically weigh about half as much as the average reindeer species and are at least a foot shorter in length. Svalbard Reindeer are quite restricted in terms of migration in the winter. They are native to the very harsh conditions of Norway. Norway will usually in the winter measure between −25 °C (−13 °F) and −30 °C (−22 °F). This is where the reindeer are very well adapted. They have a big thick coat to keep them nice and warm, they also have a specially adapted nose to help them survive in the wild. When the Reindeer breaths in the nose will warm the air before it enters the lungs.  They will also always walk into the wind allowing them to pick up the smells which direct them to food.

Reindeers hooves will shrink in summer and increase during winter to help walk on the snow.

These animals are vegetarians, in the summer months they will eat as much as they can, this will include plant material like mosses, herbs, ferns, grasses, and the shoots and leaves of shrubs and trees, especially willow and birch. However all this dies during the winter months, therefore in the winter they will eat fungi and lichen, this is also known as Reindeer moss. On average Reindeer will eat about 4 – 8 Kilogrammes of vegetation a day.

A group of reindeer is called a Herd. Svalbard Reindeer will usually be found in smaller herds compared to other reindeer. The Svalbard Reindeer will be found in about groups of 3-5. However, other reindeer species can range from ten’s to hundreds. The main reason for death for these guys is not predators, in fact, there aren’t many predators in Norway that could survive the conditions. The main reason for death is down to starvation, this is the biggest killer. The Reindeer is well adapted to surviving the winter, they will use all their fat that they gathered over the summer months.  Svalbard reindeer will

Mom with her young calf.

Svalbard reindeer will mate during October, it is hard to tell a male and female apart. Females will shed their antlers and males will drop off their antlers. Males antlers will get much bigger but it is very hard to tell the difference between small males and females. The male during October will gather up to 10 females to mate with. After seven months the female will give birth to only a single calf. After three months the young calf would have rapidly grown and will add seven to eight kilogrammes per month during there the first summer. Svalbard reindeer will live for about 10 years.

An Interesting Fact You Didn’t Know Before Reading This!!!!

SO Cute!!!!!!

Reindeer and Caribou are very similar they even have the same scientific name – Rangifer tarandus. They do however belong to different subspecies.


Author: walkwiththewildlife

I am a animal lover. I am so fascinated about the way different specifies interact in order to reach different objectives. I am so much of an animal lover I studied Level 2 BTEC Animal Care and loved every second of it. At the same time I had many different pets to look after. From the simple rabbits to the more exotic and unusual pets.

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