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1 April 2012 Effects of a Holiday Resort on the Distribution of Semidomesticated Reindeer
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We studied the impacts of a large skiing and hiking resort on the distribution of semidomesticated reindeer in Saariselkä, eastern Finnish Lapland, in 1986 and 2000. The effect of intensity of outdoor activities on reindeer density in terms of pellet-group density was dependent variably on habitat, the year of inventory and season. Despite the overall doubling of visitor numbers between the inventory years, pellet-group density in winter increased in the study area by 20%. The sex ratio of reindeer in summer 1986 was male-biased up to a distance of 8–12 km, indicating that females with calves avoided the vicinity of the resort, but in 2000 the bias existed only at a distance of 0–4 km. However, pellet-group density in summer at the distance of 0–4 km was 53% and 28% lower than that at 4–8 km and 8–12 km, respectively. In winter, a similar pattern was observed in lichen-rich coniferous habitats. Cladonia stellaris, which has low tolerance to heavy grazing, reached its maximum abundance at the distance of 0–4 km. Observations on the increased tolerance of reindeer were very probably associated with improved channeling of tourists into fewer and better marked hiking and skiing routes, changes in the reindeer herd-management and frequent contacts with humans, but the adverse effects of outdoor activities could not be avoided.
© Finnish Zoological and Botanical Publishing Board 2012
Timo Helle, Ville Hallikainen, Matti Särkelä, Marko Haapalehto, Aarno Niva and Jouni Puoskari "Effects of a Holiday Resort on the Distribution of Semidomesticated Reindeer," Annales Zoologici Fennici 49(1–2), (1 April 2012).
Received: 11 April 2011; Accepted: 15 November 2011; Published: 1 April 2012

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