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Species Information

Habitat/Range: Reindeer (or caribou) are native to arctic, sub-arctic, boreal, and mountainous regions of northern Europe, Siberia, and North America. 

Behavior: Reindeer are migratory ungulates. The distance herds migrate varies by location. They rely on fat reserves acquired from spring through fall to help get them through the winter. Females will not breed if they do not have enough fat stored up. 

Breeding: Breeding season for reindeer is in late autumn. Males fight for access to females by locking antlers; dominant males may mate with 15 to 20 females. Females give birth to one calf in May or June. Calves are born well developed and already can outrun a human at one day old. They nurse for the first 45 days but continue to supplement foraging with nursing until the following autumn. 

Conservation: Listing: Vulnerable. Overall, reindeer populations have decreased 40% over the last 25 years. However, there are many subspecies of reindeer. Some are abundant and thriving while others are under severe threat of extinction due to habitat loss. One subspecies has already gone extinct. 

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