Tuesday Trivia: Reindeer games

Johnson City Press • Apr 10, 2018 at 8:00 AM

With news that a reindeer calf has been born in Maine, this week’s Tuesday Trivia looks at the state of the species Rangifer tarandus.

• Worldwide, the species is classified as vulnerable because of an estimated 40 percent reduction in numbers over 25 years — from 4.8 million to 2.89 million animals.

• There are 14 documented subspecies of which two are extinct.

• Reindeer are largely known as caribou in North America. Most U.S. populations (27 herds with roughly 660,000 animals) are in Alaska. There is also a remnant population of about a dozen boreal woodland caribou in the Selkirk Mountains of Idaho.

• In Europe, wild reindeer are found in the mountains and forests of Norway, Finland, and Russia.

• Female reindeer can as live as long as 12–16 years. Bulls live a few years less.

• Weights of adult bulls average 350-400 pounds. Mature females average 175–225 pounds.

• Reindeer are the only type of deer in which both the male and female reindeers grow antlers. Antlers fall off and regrow every year. A bull’s can grow up to 51 inches long and weigh up to 33 pounds.

• Reindeer may migrate over 3,000 kilometers in a year in search of sheltered climates and food.

Sources: Alaska.gov, International Union for Conservation of Nature

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