Svalbard reindeer (Picture by J.Padolsey @ Unsplash)

A change in Svalbard reindeer‘s eating patterns seems to be prompted by increased plant growth brought on by a warmer climate. Concern about the situation of Santa‘s favorite sleigh pullers is growing as the Arctic warms, but reindeer are prospering in Svalbard, a little area in the remote north, nonetheless. Data suggests that warmer weather is promoting plant development and giving Svalbard reindeer more time to store fat; it also appears that they are changing their diets to include “popsicle-like” grasses that poke up through the ice and snow. Concern for the reindeer on Svalbard has also been raised by reports of catastrophic starvations of reindeer in Russia and diminishing caribou numbers in Canada and Alaska. But reindeer populations have exploded recently in the archipelago‘s most productive areas.