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Svalbard Reindeer

Rangifer tarandus platyrhynchus


Reindeer are found throughout the Arctic, but those found on the Svalbard archipelago form a distinct sub-species. They are the smallest sub-species of reindeer (dwarfism is common in populations of mammals that are isolated on small islands), with males reaching no more than 160cm in height full grown. They are also quite solitary, found in groups of no more than 3-5 outside of breeding season. The fur is thick, dark brown on the back and pale underneath.


Reindeer are found in the Arctic and very northern regions of North America, Europe and Asia, most often in the tundra and taiga areas.


We were lucky enough to find a few individuals wandering through Ny-Alesund when we stopped off in Svalbard for a little break. They are very small, I originally thought the first individual was a lost calf, but it's in fact a young adult male. He was not shy and I got quite close to him! I saw the full grown male off in the distance.

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Ashish Nimkar
Ashish Nimkar 9 years ago

Great spotting...!!
Love the 4th Picture.. Deer is on the move...

Maria dB
Maria dB 9 years ago

what a lovely spotting!

Jeannette 9 years ago

So cute :)
Lovely spotting....

Atul 9 years ago

lovely !

LauraMaria 9 years ago

Yes, this little guy was super cute! In the distance you can indeed see ice, there are several glaciers in the fjord and icebergs were constantly being formed! It was really cool, and a nice backdrop :)

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 9 years ago

Fabulous beastie!. Quite cute actually non? Is that ice in the distance last shot or maybe land?

Spotted by

Svalbard, Svalbard

Spotted on Jun 20, 2012
Submitted on Jul 11, 2012

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