Success and failure of reindeer herding in Greenland
AbstractAnimal husbandry is a recent innovation in Greenland, specifically reindeer husbandry is less than 50 years old. Reindeer husbandry was first established in mid-west Greenland and later in southern Greenland. The Greenland hunter tradition and culture is, however, still dominant in many communities. During the 1980s and 1990s, the incompatibility of these two traditions resulted in the failure of reindeer husbandry in mid-west Greenland. There were neither herding nor seasonal herd movements. Animals remained year round on the winter range, which was destroyed as lichens were trampled every summer. Without seasonal herd movements both sustainable range use and control of the herd were lost. Today, there are just two semi-domestic reindeer herds left, and both are in southern Greenland. One herd is commercially successful, and the other is under development. In mid-west Greenland, semi-domestic reindeer husbandry officially ended in 1998, and a hunt was initiated to remove the remaining population. Possibly, by the year 2000 any animals left in this region will be considered wild caribou.
Authors retain copyright and grant Rangifer irrevocable and non-exclusive right of publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY). This means, among other things, that anyone is free to copy and distribute the content, as long as they give proper credit to the author(s) and the journal. For further information, see Creative Commons website for human readable or lawyer readable versions.