Reindeer husbandry and game management in the changing climate

Finland has a long tradition of reindeer husbandry and game management. Hunting in Finland dates back to the hunter-gatherer societies that first occupied the area after the last ice age. Wild reindeer hunting by the Sami in Fennoscandia led to the breeding of a semi-domesticated subspecies and the invention of a new source of livelihood [1]. Because game management and reindeer husbandry are based on the use of natural resources, their survival hinges on sustainable development.

The state of the environment affects the numbers and geographic distribution of animals and their choice of habitat. Climate change is one of the factors that shape animal habitats, and each species reacts differently to its effects. Game management and reindeer husbandry depend on the natural environment, and hunting and herding practices need to be adapted to changes in animal populations in the future. On the other hand, humans can help animals to adapt to climate change by using natural resources in a sustainable manner, and game management and reindeer husbandry practices play a central role in this development [2].

erotus © Tapio Heikkilä

Reindeer rounded up for tagging.


  1. Paliskuntain yhdistys,
  2. Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. 2005. Finland’s National Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change. Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Helsinki. Publications 1a/2005. 280 p.