Reindeer have it rough, and not because Santa makes them fly around the globe.
In August, a lighting strike killed more than 300 of the animals in Norway, only a month after thousands of reindeer in Russia died from an anthrax epidemic. In 2013, around 61,000 reindeer starved to death on Russia’s Yamal Peninsula after rare Arctic rains cut off their food supply.
Now scientists say reindeer are physically shrinking as climate change disrupts their diets of grasses, mosses and lichens.
Over the last 20 years, the weight of adult reindeer in Norway has declined by 12 percent, according to ecologists from the U.K.’s James Hutton Institute, the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. Read more…