Finalised Research Projects

Wellbeing of reindeer herders and views on the future in the southern reindeer herding cooperatives –research (Porotalouden hyvinvointi ja tulevaisuuskuvat eteläisissä paliskunnissa –tutkimus)

This research focussed on examining the wellbeing of reindeer herders in Halla, Näljänkä, Hossa-Irni and Kallioluoma cooperatives. The interviews focussed on finding out herders’ views on the current situation and future of reindeer herding, and how they see their personal future in it.

The project formulated a picture of the current situation of the profession, their challenges, need of help and future.

This preliminary study was part of The effects of the large carnivores, and monitoring and preventing their damages  – project (Maasuurpetojen vaikutukset, seuranta ja vahinkojen ennaltaehkäisy –hanke).  It was administrated by Lapland University and funded by the EU Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. The project was conducted in 2011-2012.

Director of the project was Jarno Valkonen and researcher Antti Pakkanen.

Anneli Pohjola ja Jarno Valkonen (toim.): Poronhoitajien hyvinvoinnin uhat ja avun tarpeet –publication (In Finnish)

Research on the crisis intervention for reindeer herders (Poronhoitajien kriisiapujärjestelmää koskeva selvitys)

The increasing damages caused by large carnivores have affected strongly reindeer herding in Kainuu and Eastern Lapland areas in 2000s. In the worst areas, the profession has entered a crisis situation and the effects of large carnivores have started to spread into other parts of the reindeer husbandry area. The situation has also effected the families, communities and more broadly to the working environment.

The aim of the research was to interview the managing social workers in the municipalities and voluntary organizations in the villages to get a picture of the situation of the reindeer herding in the area. Also, to map out the needs and ways to give help in crisis.

The project was administrated by the Lapland University and funded from the MAKERA development fund. It was conducted in 2011-2012.

The director of the project was professor Anneli Pohjola, supervisor Marko Romakkaniemi and researcher Minna Vaarala.

Anneli Pohjola ja Jarno Valkonen (toim.): Poronhoitajien hyvinvoinnin uhat ja avun tarpeet –publication (In Finnish)

Research on the profitability and economy of reindeer husbandry (Poronhoidon tuottavuus ja ekonomia –tutkimus)

The project built a bio-economical model. With the model, it was possible to look at ecologically and economically optimal reindeer livestock, the structure of the reindeer population and herding. In addition, there was evaluation on the pasture areas, herding practices, land usage, the income and expenditure of reindeer herding, and their effects for the productivity and profitability of reindeer herding in different areas and pasture environments.

The project was administrated by the Natural Resource Institute Finland (formerly Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute) and an essential partner of the project was Helsinki University. It was funded from the MAKERA development funds and it was conducted in 2011-2013.

Managing researcher was Jouko Kumpula.

More information on the project (in Finnish)

Eri poronhoitomallien ekologia ja tuottavuus –tutkimus

Poronhoito ja sen toimintaympäristö on muuttunut monin eri tavoin viime vuosikymmeninä. Nykyisellään poronhoitoalueen eri osissa on käytössä monia erilaisia poronhoitotapoja ja –malleja. Myös eri maiden poronhoitomallit eroavat Suomessa käytetyistä. Hanke keskittyy nykyisten poronhoitomallien tutkimiseen ja vertailemiseen Suomen poronhoitoalueen paliskunnissa.

Tutkimushankeen tavoitteena oli saada ajan tasalla olevaa tutkimustietoa eri poronhoitotapojen ja –mallien ekologisesta perustasta ja tuottavuudesta kyseisten mallien tuottavuuden, kannattavuuden ja kestävyyden vertailemiseksi ja arvioimiseksi. Tutkimushanke toteutettiin vuosina 2006-2010. Tutkimushanketta hallinnoi Riista- ja kalatalouden tutkimuslaitos. Hankkeen vastaavana tutkijana toimi Jouko Kumpula.

Lisätietoa hankkeesta

Research on the spread of deer fly and the threat it poses for reindeer husbandry (Hirvikärpäsen leviäminen ja sen aiheuttama uhka porotaloudelle –tutkimus)

The project examined the spreading of deer fly (Lipoptena cervi) to North and the health effects of it to reindeer and other deer species. It also considered ways to limit the spreading. The project found that the deer fly has already spread to the southern part of reindeer husbandry area.

According to the research, deer fly accepts reindeer as its host animal and can reproduce in it. However, preliminary research shows that louse medicine given to reindeer also works on deer fly.

The project was administrated by University of Oulu. It was funded from the MAKERA development fund and it was conducted in 2007-2012.

Director of the project was FT Raine Kortet and professor Antti Oksanen.

More information on the project (in Finnish).

Research on parapox virus infection in a reindeer mouth disease (Parapoxvirusinfektiot porojen suutaudissa –tutkimus)

The project examined more closely the parapox virus that caused mouth disease epidemic in 1999-2000. It has appeared annually ever since and in the winter 2000 there were more cases than usual. According to the vets, the epidemic spreads easily in the area where it appears and causes financial losses for the herders.

The research was administrated by Finnish Food Safety Agency Evira. It was funded by MAKERA development fund, Virustauti research foundation, Eläinlääketiede foundation and Jenny and Antti Wihuri foundation. it was conducted in 1999-2002.

Director of the research was Dr Colin McInnes and in the Evira Maria Hautaniemi.

More information on the project (in Finnish).

Research on developing production and marketing of reindeer meat (Poronlihan tuotannon ja markkinoinnin kehittäminen)

Reindeer herding is a northern profession that has social, financial and employment effects on the rural areas. In Finland, reindeer herders are also other than Sámi people. This is different than in Sweden and Norway. Reindeer herders get some support from the public funds. However, the support system differs in the Nordic countries. Sweden and Finland are regulated by the EU, Norway has its own rules. These different support systems have created distortion in the markets.

One of the biggest challenges in Finland is the weak profitability of reindeer herding. However, the successfulness of the businesses vary – some do well and some do not. The ones that have weak profitability are suffering from too high production expenses per reindeer. The critical factor for successful businesses seems to be knowledge development.

The research project was administrated by the Natural Resources Institute Finland (formerly Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute). It was funded from the MAKERA development fund and conducted in 2008-2010.

The managing researcher was Kaija Saarni

More information on the project (in Finnish)