Adaptive change in wild reindeer seasonal migrations in the Taimyr peninsula

Theme 1. Environmental protection
Session Name 1.11 Reindeer & caribou in the Arctic system: Interactions between environmental, social and biophysical processes
Presentation Type Poster
Author(s) Natalia Malygina (Ural State University named after the first President of Russia B.N. Yeltsin, Russian Federation), Kirill Maklakov (Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology of Urals Dep. of RAS, Russian Federation)
Abstract text

As the largest in the world the Taimyr population of wild reindeer displays pronounced seasonal migrations from forest zone to tundra in spring for fawning and return motion in fall. These motions are characterized with varying from year to year dynamics. Evidences of experience suggest that migration course cannot yet be interrupted or curtailed with artificial constructions or anthropogenic disturbance. By results of long-term observations carried out by one of the authors during 20 years, migration timing and speed were related to current ambient temperature and vary from year to year. As foreseen temperature rise happens more intensively in Arctic than in average on the planet and is higher overland than over ocean it must apparently exert influence on the pattern of reindeer migrations. We hold that this phenomenon consists with changes in migration activity for recent decades and manifests increasing all-year-round presence in tundra of separate reindeer groups. Some of these groups are registered and presented on the skeleton map. In the light of current climatic trend the ecological mechanism of migrations decrease should be grounded on reindeer bioenergetics and derived from ecological function of their migrations. Energy expenditures for far movements are getting less appropriate and the proportion of total heads staying in tundra zone all-year-round will increase. Available bioenergetics parameters and the simple model let to make a prediction. In the end we propose some preventive conservation arrangements to secure the mass heads of wild reindeer staying in tundra against adverse factors, mainly pending anthropogenic.