The population of Svalbard reindeer has increased over the last 20 years in the area around Longyearbyen, reports say.
Although it was predicted that the weather may cause a bad season for the reindeer due to ice, Nicholas Tyler from the university of Tromsø has counted the reindeer for 30 years and sees no indication that this has happened.
“The rain causes the slopes and mountain sides to be washed clean and allows grazing to become available”, he told Svalbardposten.
Professor Erik Ropstad from the Norwegian School of Veterinary Science says that more vegetation becomes available to the reindeer because of temperature increases of an average of two degrees, helping the population to grow.
“It is surprising that only two additional degrees gives a strong increase in the population”, he said in the annual report of the veterinary college.
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