Help Us Save The Reindeer

      Herds of reindeer across the U.S., from Alaska to Texas have declined significantly in the last 20 years. The numbers of reindeer in the continental U.S. have fallen to nearly unsustainable levels. Many factors have contributed to the decline such as climate change, predation, disease and restrictive government regulation. So what can we do to turn around the waning of reindeer across the country? Good calf production is the single most important factor in maintaining and increasing numbers of herd animals. Unfortunately, reindeer calf production across the U.S. is abysmal. We don't know the underlying causes, but low conception rates, abortions, low birth weights and high mortality rates of calves collectively have created a desperate situation of declining herd numbers. We need to increase calf production, but identifying problems and developing solutions requires sound research. The primary mission of the Reindeer Research Program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks is to conduct research to support the nation's reindeer industry. Regrettably, at this time of urgent need for research funding sources have dried up or disappeared. The state of Alaska is going through a financial crisis resulting in severe cuts or elimination of research dollars available to our program. In addition, Federal funding institutions consider reindeer an insignificant livestock and steer research dollars to more conventional livestock species.

      So we need your help. We need funding to support reindeer calf production research. The Reindeer Research Program wishes to develop a nationwide network of researchers, veterinarians and reindeer producers to investigate the causes of depressed calf production and to develop solutions. We need more reindeer for the industry to survive. Please follow this link to the donation website. Make sure to check the "Greg Finstad Reindeer Research" box under Gift Designation, and be sure to note in the box that your gift is "for immediate use."

We will gladly accept donations for either immediate use or donations to an endowment whose future earnings will be used to support reindeer research, however, we feel immediate action is needed to revitalize the reindeer industry.

2014 Female Calf 1409 at University of Alaska Fairbanks AFES Farm.