Effect of wind on Svalbard reindeer fur insulation


  • Christine Cuyler Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, P.O. Box 570, DK-3900 Nuuk, Greenland
  • Nils A. Øritsland Ovenbakken 14 B, 1361 Østerås, Norway




Svalbard, fur, heat transfer, insulation, Rangifer tarandus platyrhynchus, reindeer, wind


The heat transfer through Svalbard reindeer (Rangifer tarandus platyrhynchus) fur samples was studied with respect to wind velocity, season and animal age. A total of 33 dorsal fur sections were investigated using a wind tunnel. Insulation varied with season (calving, summer, autumn and winter). At zero wind velocity, fur insulation was significantly different between seasons for both calf and adult fur samples. At the same time, there was no significant difference between calf and adult insulation for the summer, autumn and winter seasons. Calf fur insulated as well as adult fur. Winter insulation of Svalbard reindeer was approximately 3 times that of summer. Increasing wind veloci¬ty increased heat loss, however, the increase was not dramatic. When wind coefficients (slope) of the heat transfer regression lines were compared, between season and between calf and adult, no significant differences were reported. All fur samples showed similar increases in heat transfer for wind velocities between 0 and 10 m.s-1. The conductance of winter fur of Svalbard reindeer was almost half that of caribou fur. Also, conductance was not as greatly influenced by wind as caribou fur




How to Cite

Cuyler, C., & Øritsland, N. A. (2002). Effect of wind on Svalbard reindeer fur insulation. Rangifer, 22(1), 93–99. https://doi.org/10.7557/




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