Frozen fauna – Frossen fauna

Awaiting the field season

By Jørgen Rosvold

There is a certain amount of gambling when planning searches of snow patches. To have the best chances of finding old remains we need to wait until the patches have melted down below a certain point. But wait too long, and new snow will fall!

In some years, when snowfall during winter have been high and the following spring and summer is cool, snow patches will grow in size. These are bad years for making snow patch finds.

Global warming makes life hard for the animals that are dependent on snow and ice, but it is sometimes hard to hide your enthusiasm during an abnormally hot summer when waiting for the field season. Especially when reports on finds start appearing!

Late summer night in Børgefjell, with glacier and snow patches in the distance. Photo: Jørgen Rosvold

This year we aim to expand our search of snow patches a bit north, into South Saami areas, like Børgefjell and Hattfjelldal in central Norway. This area looks promising in regards to shedding light on the early history of domestic reindeer. Thus far, the season looks promising. Last winter was relatively dry and, although spring was late, cool and brought snowfall, this summer has been unusually warm.

Best to cross fingers for no early snowfall!

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