Reindeer herding
ReindeerThe most productive semi-domestic reindeer herds occur in northern Fennoscandia and northwest Russia. Herd sizes here have been increasing since World War II and are currently at or near historic highs. While many rangelands across northern Eurasia are in poor condition because of high reindeer densities, it is unclear whether this is affecting herd performance. The relationship between reindeer herding and local biodiversity is similarly complex, where grazing by reindeer may either increase or decrease the variety of plant species in a given area, and in some regions may even be an important factor in regional biodiversity. In addition to climate change, reindeer herding in Fennoscandia is threatened by increased resource development, and in Russia, hydrocarbon development is actually considered a greater threat to the most productive herding areas than climate change.