This paper reviews the disturbance effects of human activities on reindeer/caribou (Rangifer tarandus) habitat in arctic/subarctic ecosystems. We further discuss implications of the use of such disturbed habitat on Rangifer's life history and population dynamics, an aspect that has been overlooked. Effects of disturbances vary with the type, size, scale, and intensity of disturbance; evidence is presented of adverse effects on use of disturbed habitat by reindeer/caribou. The paper explores potential effects (on the production potential of Rangifer) of continued human encroachment on natural ecosystems and implications for reindeer husbandry, caribou hunting, and livelihoods of arctic and subarctic residents.
Field of science