Reindeer Husbandry and Global Environmental Change : Pastoralism in Fennoscandia book cover
1st Edition

Reindeer Husbandry and Global Environmental Change
Pastoralism in Fennoscandia

ISBN 9780367632670
Published April 21, 2022 by Routledge
316 Pages 43 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This volume offers a holistic understanding of the environmental and societal challenges that affect reindeer husbandry in Fennoscandia today.

Reindeer husbandry is a livelihood with a long traditional heritage and cultural importance. Like many other pastoral societies, reindeer herders are confronted with significant challenges. Covering Norway, Sweden and Finland – three countries with many differences and similarities – this volume examines how reindeer husbandry is affected by and responds to global environmental change and resource extraction in boreal and arctic social-ecological systems. Beginning with an historical overview of reindeer husbandry, the volume analyses the realities of the present from different perspectives and disciplines. Genetics, behavioural ecology of reindeer, other forms of land use, pastoralists’ norms and knowledge, bio-economy and governance structures all set the stage for the complex internal and externally imposed dynamics within reindeer husbandry. In-depth analyses are devoted to particularly urgent challenges, such as land-use conflicts, climate change and predation, identified as having a high potential to shape the future pathways of the pastoral identity and productivity. These futures, with their risks and opportunities, are explored in the final section, offering a synthesis of the comparative approach between the three countries that runs as a recurring theme through the book. With its richness and depth, this volume contributes significantly to the understanding of the substantial impacts on pastoralist communities in northernmost Europe today, while highlighting viable pathways to maintaining reindeer husbandry for the future.

This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of both the natural and social sciences who work on natural resource management, global environmental change, pastoralism, ecology, social-ecological systems, rangeland management and Indigenous studies.


The Open Access version of this book, available at, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution- Non Commercial- No Derivatives 4.0 license.

Table of Contents

Part I. Reindeer pastoralism as social-ecological system

1. Reindeer pastoralism in Fennoscandia
Øystein Holand, Tim Horstkotte, Jouko Kumpula and Jon Moen

2. Genetic structure and origin of semi-domesticated reindeer
Knut H. Røed, Kjersti S. Kvie and Bård-Jørgen Bårdsen

Part II. Reindeer in their environment

3. Reindeer behavioural ecology and use of pastures in pastoral livelihoods
Anna Skarin, Jouko Kumpula, Torkild Tveraa and Birgitta Åhman

4. Pastures under pressure – effects of other land users and the environment
Sonja Kivinen, Anna Skarin, Jon Moen and Stefan Sandström

5. Reindeer husbandry and climate change – challenges for adaptation
Sirpa Rasmus, Tim Horstkotte, Minna Turunen, Mia Landauer, Annette Löf, Ilari Lehtonen, Gunhild Rosqvist and Øystein Holand

6. Large predators and their impact on reindeer husbandry
Birgitta Åhman, Sirpa Rasmus, Camilla Risvoll, Svein Morten Eilertsen and Harri Norberg

Part III. Governance of reindeer pastoralism

7. Implications of norms and knowledge in customary reindeer herding units for resource governance
Tim Horstkotte, Hannu I. Heikkinen, Marius Warg Næss, Mia Landauer, Bruce C. Forbes, Camilla Risvoll and Simo Sarkki

8. Unpacking reindeer husbandry governance in Sweden, Norway and Finland – a political discursive perspective
Annette Löf, Kaisa Raitio, Bruce C. Forbes, Kristina Labba, Mia Landauer, Camilla Risvoll and Simo Sarkki

9. Governing maximum reindeer numbers in Fennoscandia
Simo Sarkki, Kathrine Ivsett Johnsen, Annette Löf, Antti-Juhani Pekkarinen, Jouko Kumpula, Sirpa Rasmus, Mia Landauer and Birgitta Åhman

Part IV. Challenges for productivity, health and adaption of reindeer

10. The productive herd – past, present and perspectives
Øystein Holand, Asko Mäki-Tanila, Thomas Kvalnes, Kirsi Muuttoranta, Amélie Paoli, Jaakko Pietarinen, Robert B. Weladji and Birgitta Åhman

11. Bioeconomics of reindeer husbandry in Fennoscandia
Antti-Juhani Pekkarinen, Jouko Kumpula, Øystein Holand, Birgitta Åhman and Olli Tahvonen

12. Role of supplementary feeding in reindeer husbandry
Birgitta Åhman, Minna Turunen, Jouko Kumpula, Camilla Risvoll, Tim Horstkotte, Élise Lépy and Svein Morten Eilertsen

13. Health and diseases of semi-domesticated reindeer in a climate change perspective
Morten Tryland, Birgitta Åhman and Javier Sánchez Romano

Part V. Prospects and synthesis

14. Tipping points and regime shifts in reindeer husbandry – a systems approach
Jon Moen, Bruce C. Forbes, Annette Löf and Tim Horstkotte

15. Pathways for action: the need for Sámi self-determination
Åsa Larsson Blind

16. Final reflections
Jon Moen, Tim Horstkotte, Øystein Holand and Jouko Kumpula

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Tim Horstkotte is a senior research engineer at the Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Umeå University, Sweden.

Øystein Holand is a professor, at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway.

Jouko Kumpula is a senior research scientist at the Natural Resources Institute Finland.

Jon Moen is a professor at the Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Umeå University, Sweden.