WHERE have all the reindeers gone?
According to new study, reindeer populations are declining around the world largely because of inbreeding.
Reindeer currently live in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Canada, Alaska, Russia, Mongolia and China, and populations across the board are on the decline.
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Researchers from Renmin University in Beijing focused on the reindeer population in China and found the population there has declined about 28 percent since the 1970s.
The Journal for Nature Conservation reports that there are several reasons reindeer populations are decreasing, but the number one cause they found was inbreeding. Reindeer are split up into small, shrinking groups and have very few mating options. Without more genetic variation, the populations will eventually collapse, the researchers said. Poaching is also a problem.