In North America, the number of places where reindeer are found has been greatly reduced - for example, in Canada reindeer are no longer present in the Maritimes. Declines of 40% in British Columbia, 50% in Ontario and 60% in Alberta have also been reported. These declines are caused by changes in habitat following commercial forestry operations and increased human presence that have left Reindeer populations small and separated.
In Europe, wild reindeer are found in the mountains and forests of Norway, Finland, and Russia. Poaching is a major threat to reindeer in the Russian Federation, especially as domestic reindeer breeding has declined in many areas. Hunting of reindeer is strictly controlled in eastern Russia and Norway, yet poaching still continues in the rest of Russia. Reindeer may also be threatened by habitat loss in Finland and increased disturbance in some Norwegian areas due to winter sports.
Today, the conservation needs of reindeer in Canada are recognized by the Canadian government. In Europe, reindeer are protected under the Bern Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats. Although listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM, reindeer populations need to be monitored and protected to prevent future declines.