Head to head

Two Svalbard reindeer fight for control of a harem. Watching the battle, Unterthiner felt immersed in ‘the smell, the noise, the fatigue and the pain’. The reindeer clashed antlers until the dominant male, left, chased its rival away, securing the opportunity to breed. Reindeer are widespread around the Arctic, but this subspecies occurs only in Svalbard. Populations are affected by the climate crisis, where increased rainfall can freeze on the ground, preventing access to plants.
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