Wild reindeer Maps

Norwegian wild reindeer landscapes in the Anthropocene

Statistical maps in support to sustainable land planning & managment

Reindeer are hihgly sensitive to human development

The cumulative impact of human activities causes habitat loss and fragmentation. While ranges were historically continuous, after the industrial revolution Norwegian wild reindeer have been fragmented into 24 isolated sub-populations, and virtually all major migration routes are lost.

These maps result from a decade of collaborations among reindeer experts, spatial ecologists and network scientists to develop theories and approaches to measure the cumulative impact of human activities and guide sustainable land planning through statistics, maps and simulations of land use and climate changes

In a nutshell: where do these maps come from?

GPS tracking data

Millions of GPS position for ca 500 wild reindeer were modelled together with environmental data to understand which areas they need, how do they move and how do they respond to disturbance & infrastructure

Environmental data

Data describing infrastructure, human activities, land cover, vegetation, climate and topography were modelled to quantify the cumulative effect of anthropogenic activities

Local knowledge

Local knowledge has been used to improve data on human activities in areas partnering the project. This is important and should be extended to all areas, to increase relevance for local managment

Image: NINA Rapport 2189 (CC BY-SA) 

Software & algorithms

New algorithms (Randomized Shortest Path), software (ConScape), R libraries (OneImpact) & models were developed to produce Nation-wide, high resolution maps quantifyig cumulative impacts, suitable areas, funcional areas, barriers & movement corridors


The analytical maps, theoretical frameworks and methodological approaches presented are the result of a decade of developments within several large projects supported by the Research Council of Norway, starting first and foremost with RenewableReindeer, and continuing with OneImpact and ProdChange. These projects built upon a series of local monitoring projects supported by a countless range of stakeholders, local experts, funding sources, and industries that provided essential reindeer GPS data, knowledge and expertise on reindeer and their areas. Last but not least, these innovations would not have been possible without a series of national and international collaborations with lead researchers in ecology, network- and computer science, including the work of several MSc students, PhD students and PostDocs.

It is challenging to name all funding sources and direct/indirect supporters through the years, but we can try: in addition to the Norwegian institute for Nature Research NINA and the Research Council of Norway, the main contriubtors include the Norwegian Environment Agency NVE, The Norwegian Water Resource and Energy Directorate, the Norwegian Wild Reindeer Centre, Wild Reindeer Council, Siri Bøthun naturforvaltning, the hydropower company SiraKvina, the Norwegian Trekking Association DNT, Consortium of stakeholders in Setesdal, Stakeholders boards in Dovre, the University of Louvain (Belgium), University of Alberta (Canada), University of Aalto (Finland), University of Stirling (UK), Basque Centre for Climate Change and many more. It would be impossible to acknolwedge all those that contributed, but a very special thanks goes to Olav Strand, Roy Andersen, Per Jordhøy, Vegard Gundersen, Torkild Tveraa, Audun Stien, Knut Langeland, Marco Særens, Ilkka Kivimaki, John Fryxell, Rebecca Vijou, Lucie Leotte, Bernardo Brandão Niebuhr dos Santos and many many more.