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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Active land use improves reindeer pastures: evidence from a patch choice experiment

Published source details

Colman J.E., Mysterud A., Jørgensen N.H. & Moe S.R. (2009) Active land use improves reindeer pastures: evidence from a patch choice experiment. Journal of Zoology, 279, 358-363


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Manage vegetation using livestock grazing Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated, controlled study in 2003–2005 of pasture at a site in northern Norway (Colman et al. 2009) found that sheep-grazed pasture was used by feeding reindeer Rangifer tarandus more than was ungrazed pasture. Reindeer spent more time feeding in low-intensity sheep grazed plots (30% of all feeding observations) and high-intensity sheep grazed plots (28%) than in ungrazed plots (17%). Sixteen plots were established in each of two 0.3-ha fields. Each field contained four plots of each high-intensity sheep grazing, low-intensity sheep grazing and ungrazed pasture. Low- and high-intensity sheep grazing comprised two (ewe and yearling) and four (ewe and three lambs) sheep respectively, for 10 days at the beginning of July in 2003 and 2004, contained within temporary internal fencing. Four 2-year-old male reindeer were grazed on each field for two weeks in autumn 2003, spring and autumn 2004 and spring 2005. Reindeer feeding patch choice was determined by timed observations.

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)

Remove vegetation by hand/machine Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated, controlled study in 2003–2005 of pasture at a site in northern Norway (Colman et al. 2009) found that mown pasture was selected by feeding reindeer Rangifer tarandus more than was unmown pasture. Reindeer spent more time feeding in mown plots (25% of all feeding observations) than in unmown plots (17%). Sixteen plots were established in each of two 0.3-ha fields. Each field contained four replicate plots of high-intensity sheep grazing, low-intensity sheep grazing, mowing and unmanaged. Sheep grazing treatments are not reported on in the paper. Mown plots were cut in July, to 5 cm height, with cuttings removed. Four 2-year-old male reindeer grazed in each field for two weeks in autumn 2003, spring and autumn 2004 and spring 2005. Reindeer feeding patch choice was determined during timed observations.

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)