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Wildlife in Norway IV 2009 - Set

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Technical details
  • 02.01.2009
  • Inger Sandved Anfinsen
  • Joh. Enschedé Security Print
  • Offset
  • 4 Colours
  • NOK 11.50, 15.50, 25
About Wildlife in Norway IV 2009

Roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) are the smallest of Norway’s deer. You will find them in any county south of Troms. In the 19th century roe deer were still rare in Scandinavia. However, their survival was ensured by a far-sighted protection agreement between some Swedish estate owners in Skåne. The deer reproduced well and grew in number. They came to Norway around 1900, spreading quickly here as they had in Sweden. They were protected by law until 1927. Only part of the expansion was due to the roe deer’s own ability to spread. In many cases, they were introduced into the area. A rough estimate puts the wintering population at between 30,000 and 100,000 deer and the autumn stock at as many as 150,000. Roe deer normally live to an age of 12-14.

In Norway Wild reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) are often seen as the very symbol of the mountains. In the summer they live an enviable

life in freedom, but have a tough time surviving the rigours of the winter. By wild reindeer, we generally mean mountain reindeer. Norway also has, for example, woodland reindeer and Svalbard reindeer. Wild reindeer occur in the south of Norway, on the east and west sides of the mountain ranges, and on Svalbard. Reindeer have adapted to the hard conditions of this northern climate. They have large hooves, which act like snow shoes and also enable them to dig through the snow to find food. Their thick coats provide them with sufficient insulation to withstand temperatures down to 40ºC below freezing, without having to raise their metabolism. Reindeer have also developed a gut flora that helps them to digest and derive nutrition from lichens, which are the easiest food for them to find. The reindeer population on the mainland of Norway numbers about 30,000 and on Svalbard about 10,000. Reindeer have a lifespan of up to 18 years.

Grouse (Lagopus lagopus) are found in mountain areas all over Norway and at all times of the year. The grouse on the stamp is a Willow grouse. The cock of the species changes its plumage with the season. Its mating plumage in the spring is the most magnificent. The snowy white feathers on its head and neck have then been replaced by new dark feathers. At the end of April, it is still white, but its head and neck are a glossy chestnut brown and brownish black. During the early summer the white feathers on its back molt to reveal mottled brown feathers. Around the beginning of August a darker plumage with elements of reddish brown appears on the cock’s neck and breast. In September the first winter feathers return and by the end of October, it is back to its winter-white plumage. The hen follows much the same pattern, but has no special spring plumage. The grouse’s change of plumage is regulated by the number of daylight hours. If the snow is late, the grouse faces the risk of being exposed rather than camouflaged by its winter plumage.