Sweden to build reindeer bridges so they can cross roads to find food

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Sweden to build reindeer bridges so they can cross roads to find food
A herd of reindeer in northern Sweden. Photo: AP Photo/Malin Moberg

Swedish transport authorities plan to build around ten wildlife crossings for reindeer in northern Sweden this year, reports Swedish public science radio Vetenskapsradion.


Climate change has been posing problems for reindeer herders in recent years, as unseasonably high temperatures cause the snow to thaw and freeze again when the cold returns, building up thicker layers of ice that stop the reindeer from reaching the lichen.

This means that the animals have to walk further to find food, and often cross busy roads where they risk getting hit by vehicles, or force roads to shut during the crossing.

Reindeer herders have been involved in the work of creating the bridges – dubbed renodukter, a portmanteau of ren ('reindeer') and viadukter ('viaducts') – and picking out their location, to ensure they are adapted to the animals' needs so that they feel confident using them.

The first one is set to be built across the E4 north of Umeå.


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