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Winter - Daelvie

From December to March

The reindeer have now been split up into smaller winter groups (sijda), which are kept apart as they move between different grazing areas during the winter. Down in the winter grounds, the different winter groups feed mostly in the coniferous forest area, where the grazing mainly consists of various lichens and berry sprigs. Reindeer are well adapted to the arctic climate. Their winter pelt is thick and made up of a woolly undercoat and an outer layer of long, air-filled hairs. Reindeer are able to retain both water and energy when it is cold.

The availability of winter grazing is dependent not only on the extent of the area and the presence of lichen, but primarily to access to the grazing. Winter grazing is a bottleneck for reindeer husbandry. The major problems are when the grazing areas become covered in ice or when snow develops a hard ice crust. Snow conditions deteriorate due to clear-felling, resulting in an unfavourable snow consistency and destroyed and damaged lichen cover. The absence of hanging lichen can result in an acute lack of nutrients for the reindeer when ground grazing is unavailable. In such situations, reindeer owners provide additional feed or, in the worst cases, complete replacement feeding in order to prevent large-scale reindeer death.

Winter grazing areas are often not connected, but instead split up as a consequence of various interventions such as clear-felling, roads, railways, airfields, military facilities, social infrastructure etc. As a consequence, the winter groups are forced to move between different grazing areas. The job of the reindeer herder during the winter is to guard the reindeer herd in order to protect it from predators.


About the artist

Name: Emma Fox Sandberg
Lives: Lycksele with her roots in Vilhelmina
Profession: Artist and writer

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Latest update: 2020-06-25