Large predators and their impact on reindeer husbandry

Birgitta Åhman, Sirpa Rasmus, Camilla Risvoll, Svein Morten Eilertsen, Harri Norberg

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Abstract

Several large predators (wolf, lynx, wolverine, brown bear and eagle) are present within the Fennoscandian reindeer herding area, where reindeer are often their main prey. After being more or less eradicated during the 1800s and early 1900s, predators were gradually protected leading to the recovery of all species. Growing populations of predators evidently lead to increased damage to reindeer and reindeer husbandry. In Fennoscandia, the annual loss of reindeer due to predation is probably around 50,000–100,000 animals. Herders get economic compensation for losses. In Finland and Norway, this is based on the number of predator-killed reindeer that are found, while in Sweden the compensation is based on the number of predators (wolf, lynx or wolverine) or area of the herding district (bear and golden eagle). According to national policy, reindeer husbandry should be taken into account in the management of large predators, but often population goals for the predator override the interests of reindeer husbandry. Although reindeer herders acknowledge that predators have a place in the ecosystem, there is frustration about reimbursement not compensating for actual losses, and that herders’ voices are not heard, and their knowledge not recognized, when it comes to predator management.
Original languageFinnish
Title of host publicationReindeer husbandry and global environmental change
Subtitle of host publicationPastoralism in Fennoscandia
EditorsTim Horstkotte, Øystein Holand , Jouko Kumpula, Jon Moen
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter6
Pages118-130
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-003-11856-5
ISBN (Print)978-0-367-63267-0, 978-0-367-63268-7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022
MoEC publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book

Field of science

  • Geosciences

Citation for this output