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Conference abstract, 2014

Wind power turbine infrastructure impacts reindeer migration and movement corridors

Sandström, Per; Nellemann, Christian; Rönnegård, Lars; Skarin, Anna


The reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus) in Fennoscandia are herded in a pastoral system, where the animals move freely in the landscape during most of the year. One of the major threats for contemporary Sámi reindeer husbandry is habitat loss due to direct or indirect impact from competing land use. Over the last decade, we have seen a massive increase in the planning and construction of wind farms in Fennoscandia. Wind turbine “farms” containing hundreds of wind turbines, roads and powerlines are being planned and built, with little knowledge of the possible adverse effects on reindeer husbandry and the habitat use and migrations of free-ranging reindeer, as well as other species. Until today there are only a few studies that have quantified the effect of wind farm sites evaluating reindeer use of the area. We have collected data (GPS-data and reindeer faecal pellet-group counts) from reindeer summer grazing ranges in Malå herding community and Byrkije herding district’s winter ranges in Sweden. Preliminary results show avoidance effects of the wind farm area, and change in the use of migration trails and movement corridors around wind farm construction sites. Sudden avoidance by reindeer of previously used high quality grazing ranges exposed to new development and loss or reduced use of previously used movement corridors and migration trails leads to less flexibility in the reindeer husbandry lowering their resilience towards other environmental changes, such as climate.


Rangifer, avoidance, pellet-group counts, GPS-collars

Published in

NJF Report
2014, Volume: 10, number: 8, pages: 11-11
Publisher: Nordic Association of Agricultural Scientists


NJF Seminar 479. ”Reindeer herding and land use management – Nordic perspectives”