Conservation of wild reindeer in Kamchatka

Vladimir I. Mosolov

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7557/2.20.5.1634

Keywords

wild reindeer; Kamchatka; herd fragmentation; industrial development; logging; mining; Rangifer tarandus phylarchus

Abstract

The wild reindeer of Kamchatka were never numerous and probably did not exceed 15 000 in number because of the restricted amount of winter and summer range, and the characteristically deep snow of the peninsula. Before I960, biologists believed there was one population with three major wintering areas. The inaccessibility of the interior of the peninsula provided natural protection for wild reindeer and other wildlife. After I960, the road system was expanded for the benefit of the logging and mining industries, and poorly regulated commercial hunting of wild reindeer expanded. The wild reindeer population declined rapidly, and became fragmented into 3 herds by the early 1970s. The herds in southern and northeastern Kamchatka were reduced to a few hundred animals, but the herd in eastern Kamchatka that was largely protected by the federal Kronotskii Biosphere Reserve recovered. Poorly regulated hunting and competition with domestic reindeer continue to be the major conservation issues facing wild reindeer in Kamchatka.

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Copyright (c) 2015 Vladimir I. Mosolov

License URL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/