Skip to content

LV-2019/083 - Reindeer winter forage

More info
Title LV-2019/083 - Reindeer winter forage
Subtitle Long-term monitoring research

Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) are key species in the Arctic and are under threat of fragmentation and degradation of habitat. Access to winter forage, especially lichens, is considered one major factor determining growth of the species’ populations. Thus, knowledge of the state of winter forage ranges is important to ensure adaptive management of reindeer populations. Long-term monitoring of winter foraging areas can provide augmented knowledge and has been carried out in Norway for decades. With this project, we aim to establish comparable methods between the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA) and the East Iceland Nature Research Centre (NA) for
monitoring of reindeer winter forage.

In 2016, NA met up with NINA to study their monitoring of reindeer grazing areas in Hardangervidda in Norway. Each of NINA’s monitoring sites included five plots, four were open for grazing but the fifth was covered with a mesh basked for comparison. In 2018, NINA’s scientist Hans Tømmervik met up with NA to launch research on reindeer winter forage in Iceland with comparable methodology as carried out in Norway. Six transects with a total of 22 permanent monitoring sites were laid out in defined winter foraging areas in NE-Iceland.

Here we represent the results from the field study in Iceland. Lichen cover varied between transects, monitoring sites and plots and ranged from 8% to 22% on average at each transect. Most abundant lichen species throughout the study area were Cetraria islandica and Cladonia arbuscula. The data from the field work in 2018 will be used as a baseline in the monitoring of reindeer winter forage rangelands in Iceland. Data gathering will be done with regular intervals and changes in lichen cover between years, transects and open/enclosed plots will be studied. This long-term monitoring research will provide information for sustainable management of reindeer stocks in both Iceland
and Norway.

Download file
Name Guðrún Óskarsdóttir
Name Elín Guðmundsdóttir
Name Kristín Ágústsdóttir & Hans Tømmervik
Name NA-190194
Category Hreindýr
Year 2019
Publisher Landsvirkjun
ISBN 978-9935-9500-7-9
Keywords Hreindýr, vetrarbeit, fléttur, vöktun, Norðausturland, NA-190194, 251 Reindeer, winter forage, lichen, monitoring