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Scholastic News Edition 4
Scholastic News Edition 4 provides exciting science and social studies features and helps kids build their geography skills.
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Reindeer, also called caribou, are the only type of deer in which both males and females have antlers. (Eva Mårtensson / Getty Images)

Reindeer at Risk

Why are reindeer herds shrinking?

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer saves the day in the popular holiday song. But now it’s reindeer that need saving. Over the past 30 years, their numbers in many areas have dropped by more than half. Many scientists say that habitat loss and rising temperatures are to blame.

Reindeer roam the icy tundra and snowy forests of the Arctic region. But their habitats are being taken over by people. Logging, mining, and the building of roads have driven many herds out of areas in the U.S., Canada, and Russia.

To make matters worse, the Arctic is slowly heating up. The region now often gets freezing rain instead of snow. That makes it harder for reindeer to get their food. Their winter diet is lichen (LYE-ken), a tiny plantlike form of life . It grows on rocks and in soil. Freezing rain covers lichen with ice that is too thick for reindeer to dig through. If they can’t reach their food, they can starve.

That’s bad news for native people in the region too. They rely on reindeer for food, clothing, and transportation.

Reindeer also play a key role in the Arctic food chain. Fewer reindeer can mean less food for predators, such as wolves.

RESCUE PLAN

Government leaders in the U.S. recently took action to help reindeer. They approved a plan to protect parts of Alaska where the animals live.

“Reindeer are a symbol of the North ,” says wildlife expert Justina Ray . “If we take care of them, we’ll be taking care of other Arctic animals too.”

This article appeared in the December 3, 2012 issue of Scholastic News Edition 4. For more from Scholastic News, click here.

 

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    Tundra

    Tundra

    by Colleen Sexton

    REVIEWS:


     
    4/1/07 Library Media Connection
    Basic concepts and vocabulary are presented for each of these geographical topics through simple text and appropriate high-quality color photographs. The similar format has the basic term being explored and defined first, with corollary vocabulary and concepts following. Each volume concludes with instructions on using www.factsurfer.com. Factsurfer is a link to pre-selected Web sites on the topic. Although most of the sites given are age appropriate, some help may be required in reading and navigating. Many of the photos presented in the sites are riveting and will spur young learners to want to explore further. These titles are excellent resources to use in standards-based lessons, projects, or research with young students. They will also be helpful for reluctant readers and English as a second language learners at slightly higher grades. Well-organized, highly visual, and appealing, these should be winners! Bibliography. Glossary. Index. Recommended.

     

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    Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

    Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

    by Robert L. May and David Wenzel

    Familiar and dear to so many hearts, this is the story, the original story, of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, written by Robert L. May in 1939. Vibrant and richly detailed illustrations capture all of the wonder and enchantment of this holiday classic. Rudolph, lovable and generous, humble and good, embodies the spirit of Christmas, and reminds us of the magical possibilities that exist within us all.

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