Over 80,000 reindeer in Arctic Russia starved to death
It has been found out that unusual weather patterns in Arctic Russia have resulted in the death of more than 80,000 reindeer due to starvation in the past 10 years. The death of reindeer was not found to be gradual. It is estimated that 20,000 reindeer have died in 2006 and 61,000 in 2013 due to starvation in the affected Yamal peninsula.
A new study has attributed the cause of the death of reindeer in 2006 and 2013 to a strange weather pattern at the start of November during these years. There were unseasonably warm temperatures in early November which had led to heavy rains. This had converted the soft snow into hard ice. Unable to cut off the hard ice, the reindeer were unable to get access to its food supply of lichen and other vegetation. More worryingly, scientists are now concerned that the same phenomenon might be about to happen again this year.
The Yamal Peninsula is located in the north-west Siberia, Russia. The region consists mostly of permafrost ground. It is bound by the Kara Sea, Baydaratskaya Bay on the west, and by the Gulf of Ob on the east.