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Wild reindeer numbers continue to decline

31 october 2022
Experts from Karelia, Komi, Murmansk and Arkhangelsk regions, Nenets Autonomous Okrug came to this conclusion. With the support of WWF-Russia, a working meeting was held at the Karelian Scientific Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Petrozavodsk) for employees of environmental organizations, reserves and scientific communities
The purpose of the annual meetings of experts on the conservation of wild reindeer is the exchange of experience, new knowledge and data on the population of the Red Book species. The meeting participants discussed the work plan and outlined further concrete steps to improve monitoring of wild deer, reduce poaching and raise awareness among the local population.
“It is not only the scientific community that can save a wild deer. Practical experience shows that everything is especially effective where the local community is involved. When volunteers provide support to experts and inspectors, then in these territories all problems are solved much more efficiently. There are such examples in the Murmansk region, and we continue this work thanks to the support of caring people,” said Oleg Sutkaitis, Director of the Barents Office of WWF-Russia.
Working meeting of experts
(c) WWF-Russia
“How to protect Red Data Book species? It seems to me that the story with the reindeer is very correct when its habitat is protected. Because without it, protecting it is pointless. The habitat of a deer also includes such an animal as a person. I often sign papers that come from the investigating authorities, and you read in them that the remains of deer have been found, moreover, in areas that can only be reached by expensive vehicles. It has not yet settled in the minds of people that we must save this species,” Viktor Ilyukha, director of the Institute of Biology of the Karelian Research Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences, outlined one of the problems.
The wild reindeer is listed in the Red Book of Russia. The forest reindeer is included in the Red Book of Karelia in the category of endangered or endangered species. Despite the fact that hunting for it is prohibited by law, the number of animals continues to decline. For example, in March and April of this year, in the Kemsky district of Karelia, the fact of 15 illegally hunted deer was revealed. This is just what was found in one area.
(c) Danila Panchenko
“Based on the forecasts, if we focus on calves, then, of course, there is a potential growth opportunity for a group of deer. If the potential opportunity exceeds the losses associated with various anthropogenic factors, then the population will grow. Our task now is to find opportunities to apply the conservation measures that we propose,” commented Danila Panchenko, Senior Researcher at the Zoology Laboratory of the Institute of Biology of the Karelian Research Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences, head of the Reindeer Working Group of the Theriological Society under the Russian Academy of Sciences.
В ходе рабочей встречи эксперты обсудили Стратегию сохранения дикого северного оленя Арктической зоны РФ и дорожные карты ее реализации в регионах. Выделяют три пути решения проблемы сокращения популяции дикого северного оленя. Это создание и развитие особо охраняемых природных территорий, цель которых – сохранение мест обитания дикого северного оленя. В частности в Карелии в ближайшее время может появиться новый заказник «Калевальский». Еще одна мера - поддержка патрулирования территорий, где обитает краснокнижный вид. Это поможет в борьбе с браконьерством и фактором беспокойства оленей. Важен и мониторинг: ученым необходимо знать, в каком состоянии находится популяция, только так возможно грамотно применять меры для ее сохранения.
For additional information please contact
Head of Barents Ecoregional Office
Press officer of Barents ecoregional programme