We have lost 2.6MILLION reindeer in less than 30 years, new figures reveal

Mail Online | 12/13/2018 | Simon Barnes for the Daily Mail
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Many of us are too old for it these days, but I suspect that, at some point over the traditional 12 days of Christmas, nostalgia will get the better of us and we’ll watch Father Christmas And The Missing Reindeer.

It’s a jolly little 1998 animation, with actor David Jason doing the ho-ho-hoing.

Reindeer - Christmas

I don’t wish to spoil it, but they find the nine missing reindeer and Christmas can happen after all.

This week, there came another story of missing reindeer — we have lost 2.6 million of them. Not lost as in temporarily mislaid, but lost as in dead. We’ve managed to lose more than half the world’s reindeer since the mid-Nineties. The population is down from 4.7 million to 2.1 million — a 56 per cent fall.

Species - Too - Way - World - Place

We should be worried, for this is a species we dare not lose. Too much of the way we see the world and our place in it depends on the continued existence of reindeer, so sentimentally attached have we become to the legend of Rudolph. If we lose them, it will expose us as the careless custodians of our planet that we are.

We would understand reindeer better if we could look directly down on the North Pole.

Circle - Way - Top - Planet - Beasts

They live in a great circle all the way round the top of the planet. They are Arctic beasts and have no interest in national boundaries. The same species spans Alaska, Canada, Scandinavia and northern Russia. The North Americans call them caribou, while we in Europe call them reindeer, but they are all the same thing: endearingly shaggy and with antlers colossal for their size.

In proportion to their bodies, reindeer are the most impressively attired deer of all and, unlike all other deer species, most females carry antlers as well.

Populations - Sub-species

They can be divided into different populations and sub-species, with...
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