An interesting sight

Hreindýr – Reindeer – Rangifer tarandus

We came across a herd of Reindeer in Southeast Iceland, not far from Glacier Lagoon last week. The herd counted around 26 females and four calves. The males are driven away from the herd while the females take care of the young ones. The females have their small antlers until spring but the males shed theirs after the mating season in autumn.

In the last few decades their distribution has been increasing to the east and southeast, all the way to Glacier Lagoon (Jökulsárlón). Before that time their distribution was mainly in Northeast Iceland.

In autumn hunting is permitted under strict regulations as a way of controlling their numbers in the fragile vegetation of the Icelandic Highlands. Reindeer  were brought to Iceland in the years 1771 to 1787, from Finnmark, North Scandinavia.