Increasing temperatures cause thawing and often refreezing of snow, leading to thicker layers of ice on the snow, aggravating the ability for reindeer to dig for lichen - their primary food source in the winter. The new research shows that castration of males leads to stronger and bigger individuals,
The castrated males are better able to dig through thicker layers of ice with their hoofs and antlers and are more willing to share the exposed forage with their herds.
Inevitably, the traditional knowledge of the Sámi around castration methods needs to be re-learned. Traditionally, castration was undertaken to make the animals more docile.
Please read the whole Reuters article here.
Castration as a means for reindeer to adapt to climate change?
Fri, Jan 28, 2011
Research of UArctic's new Institute for Circumpolar Reindeer Husbandry (EALAT Institute) has shown that castration may improve the ability of reindeer to adapt to climate change.