Road closed by reindeer

The mountain road over Hardangervidda, one of the main routes between Bergen and Oslo, is often closed in winter by drifting snow and other weather related problems. For the last four days, the road has been closed because a herd of 1000-1500 reindeer is close to the road, probably looking for food away from the deep snow on the high plateau (this winter has been exceptionally wet in Bergen, and the snow is very deep in the mountains). Under Norwegian regulations, roads can be closed if there is a herd of more than 500 reindeer come within three kilometres. This doesn’t happen very often: snowdrifts, avalanches, rock falls and floods are much more common causes of road closure.

I’ve only ever seen the footprints of the wild Hardangervidda rein in the snow above the field station at Finse. But just last week, I was discussing with a PhD student from Bergen University Museum the best strategy for analysing radiocarbon dates on rein bones from a Medieval slaughtery on Hardangervidda that appears to have ended at about the time of the black death.

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About richard telford

Ecologist with interests in quantitative methods and palaeoenvironments
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