There is a lot of debate when it comes to the topic of climate change these days. Most folks who have any understanding of conservation efforts at all will tell you that it’s a real issue, and a big one at that. Certain organizations, like members of the Trump Administration, will tell you that the issue isn’t as much of a crisis. One group that would agree with the conservationists if they were able to speak would be the animals that are directly affected by the symptoms of climate change.
Arctic reindeer are the most recent animals to join the list of species affected by climate change. They’ve joined animals like penguins and polar bears as members of the climate change watch list. If you’re wondering why these animals have made it onto the list, the driving factors are pretty much the same as those that landed the other species on the list. Warmer weather has caused a tremendous amount of rain throughout their indigenous habitat, which has greatly reduced their food supply. It’s not necessarily that the food isn’t there, it’s that the rainfall has created a layer of ice that prevents the deer from getting to the lichen and moss that they feed upon.
It’s not just the deer that are suffering from the warming conditions. The indigenous humans in these areas rely on natural resources, including the animals like the reindeer, for their food. Beyond the obvious food supply, reindeer also play a big part in these tribes’ culture. The harsh conditions in these parts of the world make it incredibly hard for the humans who live there to make significant changes to their way of life. That’s mostly because there simply is not an abundance of other resources to choose from when it comes to food sources.
It’s not just a shortage of food that is plaguing the deer. There has also been a substantial increase in outbreaks of hoof disease during summer months. As a result, mortality rates have skyrocketed.
In short, both the reindeer and the people who live in the are going to have to make some serious adaptations if they’re going to thrive alongside the unfortunate results of the climate change in these areas.