A couple of reindeer in the snow


Reindeer, or caribou, can outperform all other land animals in their energy efficiency - so are a fitting choice as the legendary Christmas sleigh-pullers! They're more usually seen on their mammoth annual migration to the Arctic during which the North American herds might travel for more than 5,000km - an extraordinary feat that takes them further than any other land mammal. A warm, insulating coat and large hooves are vital to their survival strategy against the extreme cold and snow of the Arctic. Reindeer are the only deer where both males and females sport antlers, complex structures that can reach epic proportions in males.

Scientific name: Rangifer tarandus

Rank: Species

Common names:


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Map showing the distribution of the Reindeer taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Reindeer can be found in a number of locations including: Arctic, Asia, Europe, North America, Russia. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Reindeer distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Least Concern

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Population trend: Stable

Year assessed: 2008

Classified by: IUCN 3.1


BBC News about Reindeer

See all Reindeer news stories

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