Reindeer overrunning Greenland

By NUNATSIAQ NEWS

SIKU CIRCUMPOLAR NEWS

Reindeer populations in western Greenland have grown beyond healthy levels, say wildlife biologists who are recommending unlimited hunting this year.

Reindeer hunting season in Greenland begins on August 1, and officials have approved an open season on the animals in hopes of preventing a starvation catastrophe due to food shortages.

Biologists at Greenland’s nature institute estimate that the number of reindeer has grown three and six times larger than the ecosystem can support, Greenlandic radio news channel KNR reported last Friday.

Signs that food is becoming scarce include a drop in the number of calves born in western Greenland and increased mortality among stags in the area between the towns of Nuuk and Kangerlussuaq.

Last year, officials hoped that a harvest of 30,000 reindeer would be enough to bring the population down.

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