200 reindeer died of hunger on the Arctic Islands after ice formed on tundra, experts say

Experts accuse climate change for the death of 200 reindeer who created an ice layer on the Arctic island after abnormal rainfall and prevented them from finding food

  • Researchers found 200 carcasses on the Norwegian Arctic archipelago, Svalbard
  • Experts fear that the rain fell last winter, causing a layer of ice over the pasture
  • Ashild Onvik Pedersen, of the Norwegian Polar Institute, said the & # 39; high rate of mortality & # 39; was a consequence of climate change
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About 200 reindeer have died of hunger on a group of Arctic islands with experts blaming climate change for the unusually high number of deaths.

The carcasses were found on the Svalbard Arctic archipelago, about 746 miles from the North Pole, according to the Norwegian Polar Institute.

Experts believe that the animals that died last winter may have starved when rain fell and formed a layer of ice on the tundra, making grazing much more difficult.

About 200 reindeer have died of hunger on a group of Arctic islands with experts blaming climate change for the unusually high number of deaths

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About 200 reindeer have died of hunger on a group of Arctic islands with experts blaming climate change for the unusually high number of deaths

The carcasses were found on the Svalbard Arctic archipelago, about 746 miles from the North Pole, according to the Norwegian Polar Institute

The carcasses were found on the Svalbard Arctic archipelago, about 746 miles from the North Pole, according to the Norwegian Polar Institute

The carcasses were found on the Svalbard Arctic archipelago, about 746 miles from the North Pole, according to the Norwegian Polar Institute

Ashild Onvik Pedersen, head of the census, said the & # 39; high rate of mortality & # 39; was a consequence of climate change, which, according to climate scientists, happens twice as fast in the Arctic as the rest of the world.

& # 39; Climate change makes it rain much more. The rain falls on the snow and forms a layer of ice on the tundra, which makes grazing conditions very bad for animals, & she told AFP.

In winter, Svalbard reindeer find vegetation in the snow with the help of their hooves, but alternating freezing and thawing can create layers of impenetrable ice, depriving the reindeer of food.

Experts say the animals may have starved when the rain fell and formed a layer of ice on the tundra, making grazing much more difficult

Experts say the animals may have starved when the rain fell and formed a layer of ice on the tundra, making grazing much more difficult

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Experts say the animals may have starved when the rain fell and formed a layer of ice on the tundra, making grazing much more difficult

According to Onvik Pedersen, a similar death toll has been recorded only once before – after the winter of 2007-2008 – since monitoring of the reindeer population began 40 years ago.

The increased mortality is partly due to a significant increase in the number of reindeer in the Norwegian archipelago.

This is partly due to climate change and the warmer summers, which means that more people compete in the same grazing areas.

Since the 1980s, the number of reindeer has doubled in Svalbard and is now around 22,000 according to the Norwegian Polar Institute.

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