There are a few things that you may not know about reindeer. So here is a short round-up of reindeer, starting with the fact that reindeer are on the decline in spite of their popularity at this time of year. Loss of habitat is the largest factor in the reduction in their numbers.
Conservation of reindeer is an issue that is vitally important to more than just Santa and the kids. They are key to the proper functioning of northern ecosystems.
Here are a few more facts about reindeer:
- Reindeer live in arctic and subarctic climes around the world. In North America reindeer are called caribou. The two are the same species, although reindeer generally refers to the domesticated variety which lives primarily in Scandinavia and Siberia.
- Caribou are the most well-travelled of all land mammals -- ranging as far as three-thousand miles in a single year.
- While caribou are leisurely walkers, when they get going they are fairly speedy -- capable of running up to 48 miles per hour.
- They are uniquely designed to handle the cold, especially the females. (For more on this see also Mythical Monday: Santa And The Reindeer Girls, Study Results: Why Rudolph Has A Red Nose)
- They aren't the chattiest animals on the planet. Females will vocalize only during the summer months after giving birth. Males vocalize only during the mating season when they really have something to shout about.
So there you have a few basics about reindeer, or caribou, depending on how you look at it.
Source: Live Science
Laurie Kay Olson
Animal News Blogger