Ancient wild reindeer pitfall trapping systems as indicators for former migration patterns and habitat use in the Dovre region, southern Norway

Per Jordhøy
2008 Rangifer  
The distribution of ancient reindeer pitfall trap systems suggests an extensive regional migration of reindeer between seasonal pastures in parts of southern Norway. The migration routes were funnelled by natural barriers across a high, rolling mountain plateau. In the Dovre area, two pitfall trapping systems, totalling at least 1547 individual pitfalls, were identified and measured using a standard procedure and GPS to record location. Migrating reindeer typically cross over valleys between
more » ... valleys between areas of higher ground and reindeer pitfall trap lines are therefore aligned along the valley, individually placed so that their long axis is perpendicular to the direction of the valleys. Pitfall trap systems for moose are also evident in the landscape. In contrast to reindeer, migrating moose mainly follow the line of the valley. Pitfall rows built for moose trapping are therefore placed mainly across the main direction of the valleys, and the individual pitfalls are also larger than those intended for reindeer. Migration and lichen utilization are important factors in reindeer adaption to limited food resources and existence in marginal mountain habitats. The trap systems and their ecological context support the hypothesis of ancient large-scale reindeer migration over the west-east Dovre axis between summer pastures and winter grazing land. This migration has ceased entirely because of increasing traffic on the north-south railway and highway and probably also because of reduced reindeer populations. <p>Abstract in Norwegian / Sammendrag:<br />Gamle fangstgropsystemer for rein som indikatorer for tidligere trekkm&oslash;nster og habitatbruk i Dovreregionen, S&oslash;r-Norge</p><p>Utbredelse av fangstgropsystemer for rein tyder p&aring; at det har v&aelig;rt et regionalt trekkm&oslash;nster mellom ulike sesongbeiter innen deler av S&oslash;r-Norge. Trekket har v&aelig;rt styrt av naturlige barrierer over et variert, b&oslash;lgende fjellandskap. I dovreomr&aring;det er to store fangstgropsystemer p&aring; totalt minst 1547 fangstgroper registrert og kartfestet etter en standard prosedyre. Migrerende rein har krysset over dalsenkningene mellom h&oslash;yere fjellpartier. Fangstgroprekkene har derfor v&aelig;rt anlagt langs dalbunnen og retningen p&aring; selve gropene g&aring;r overveiende p&aring; tvers av dalretningen. Fangstgroper for elg er ogs&aring; vanlig i regionen, men i motsetning til fangstgropene for rein g&aring;r retningen p&aring; disse oftest parallelt med dalretningen. De er ogs&aring; gjennomg&aring;ende st&oslash;rre enn gropene som har v&aelig;rt beregnet p&aring; reinfangst. Vandring og utnyttelse av lav som vinterbeite er viktig faktorer i reinens tilpasning til et skrint n&aelig;ringsgrunnlag og marginele habitater i fjellet. Fangstsystemene og &oslash;kologiske holdepunkter/faktorer st&oslash;tter hypotesen om et tidligere trekk &oslash;st/vest over dovreaksen, mellom sommerbeiter i vest og vinterbeiter i &oslash;st. Trekket her har n&aring; opph&oslash;rt helt p&aring; grunn av trafikk&aring;rene og tilh&oslash;rende ferdsels- og trafikk&oslash;kning over Dovre. En redusert villreinbestand har ogs&aring; trolig medvirket til dette.</p>
doi:10.7557/2.28.1.152 fatcat:t5i2q4n4azbylpjjyd6q25kut4