Greenland may be the least populated land by humans in the world but the Scandinavian country is no slouch in providing shelter to Arctic species. Be it land animals, birds of prey or Arctic marine life, the wildlife in Greenland is a sight to behold. Despite the country being covered in snow, icebergs and glaciers for most of the year, wildlife in Greenland has learned to thrive regardless of the harsh climatic conditions and lack of vegetation.
9 examples of wildlife in Greenland
A visit to Greenland will bring you closer to some of the rarest species of wildlife on earth that are on the verge of extinction. Here is a list of some of the Arctic species that one may encounter during a trip to Greenland.
Whales are a common sight in Greenland, especially in the summer months. Greenland is home to more than 15 species of whales, including the widely known narwhal, bowhead and humpback species. Most other species are migratory and can only be seen between May and July. There are several safari tours available in Disko Bay, allowing one to glide across the waters inhabited by giant whale species. Although poaching and hunting of these mammals is illegal, Greenlanders are left with few rules to continue hunting whales as it is a part of their source of livelihood.
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2. Polar Bear
Greenland’s ancient white bears are a national symbol and the rarest of the bear species seen alive. Polar bears are shy but aggressive predators that live on the northernmost coast of Greenland. If luck favors, bears can be seen near populated cities in Greenland in the summer, when they drift down along with floating ice floes. Bears are on the verge of extinction due to the increasing amount of organic pollutants released into the ocean and global warming in general. See the best of Greenland’s wildlife before you walk the path to extinction.
Contrary to their exotic name, walruses are unattractive creatures that could more accurately be described as tusker seals. Walruses are huge and are often found on the shore or near the ocean in eastern Greenland. Walrus tusks can grow up to a few meters long and are used for their protection. They are generally harmless but one must be careful when sea kayaking as one may fall overboard in an encounter with a large-sized mammal. They survive by eating small sea creatures such as mollusks and crustaceans.
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Santa’s Magical Ride from the North Pole actually lives in the northern part of the Arctic Circle and can be seen in Greenland. Reindeer are also known as caribou in much of the world and are unfortunately hunted for their horns. In summer and autumn when it is sunny you can see reindeer in the areas of Pamiut and Uummannaq. They are always found in flocks and respond quickly to the slightest movement near them. They are one of the fastest animals in the region that can rival even leopards.
5. Musk ox
They are the largest animal species living in Greenland. They are huge hairy goats that resemble yaks with horns. Each full-grown musk ox weighs approximately 500 kg and its fur is one of the most economically demanding part of the animal. They are found in flocks around Greenland and can be easily seen wherever there is green pasture. Goods made from its fur are more expensive than the finest wool in the world, and the ox’s meat is eaten as a delicacy in Greenland.
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6. Arctic fox
These clever little creatures are found throughout Greenland, especially in the tundra region. Two species of Arctic fox can be found in the country. The most unique feature of this species is that they change the color of their coat with the change of seasons in Greenland. It is a must-see during wildlife tourism in Greenland. They eat crustaceans, mountain hares and small mammals such as lemmings.
7. In addition
The auk is the most common sea bird in Greenland. They are small and have a monochromatic body. They are known to breed in the coldest parts of the world and are always found in huge flocks. Auk meat is the most sought after dish in the country and can be easily found in any kitchen in the city. Fulmars are second only to auks as the largest population of birds in Greenland. These beautiful birds make wildlife holidays in Greenland feel magical.
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8. White-tailed Eagles
Greenland is known for this majestic bird of prey flying in the sky. Eagles are not migratory and are known to breed even in Greenland’s cooler months. Their main source of food is small sea birds and marine fish. Their distinctive chrome yellow bill and white tail make it a sight to capture. They also eat sea ducks and chickens, common in the coastal areas of the country.
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There are plenty of inland mammals in Greenland’s lap. There are about six species of seals on its western coast and one can easily spot some of them while visiting the fjords. Depending on the type of species, their weight ranges from 100 to 300 kg. They usually drift ashore on floating ice platforms in summer. They are one of the animals that can be easily seen during wildlife tourism in Greenland. When kayaking across the ocean one has to keep an eye out for harp seals, hooded seals or ring seals. They are harmless and feed on small marine mammals but are often preyed upon by whales and sharks.
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Looking at the list of wildlife in Greenland, it seems like a utopia. However, these species of wildlife should be seen once in a lifetime before they become endangered due to the growing concern of global warming and excess prosperity. Why think twice? Plan your trip to Greenland with Daily Hind News and unleash the adventurous spirit inside you.
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