Snowkiting is becoming big in Norway. At first glance it looks like some extreme fun in harmony with nature. After all, you’re just zipping across the snow while being dragged by a kite. It looks environmentally friendly.
Not true, says a new scientific study. The BBC reports that Norwegian scientists have discovered the kites spook reindeer and may have a negative impact on their population.
The scientists studied the response of reindeer to skiers and snowkiters and found that the reindeer showed a much greater fright response to snowkiting. They theorize that it’s the swooping kite that scares the animals. Because the kite is visible from farther away than someone on skis, reindeer are running far away. This may limit their feeding and breeding grounds.
The study concludes that controls need to be put in place to ensure reindeer aren’t harmed by this new craze.