Wildlife & Plants
Discover Arctic Animals with WILDFOOT
See Arctic animals in their natural environment including over 40 species of birds, many a whale species and a variety of seals.
Arctic fauna and flora has adapted to the unique polar climatic conditions. Plant life is only evident during the brief summer months and most of the birds and some of the mammals only migrate to the area at the same time. This is also the time for visitors to come and marvel at superb wildlife spectacles in natural surroundings on land, at sea and in the air.
The king of the Arctic is undoubtedly the polar bear and there are good chances of seeing these mighty animals in Spitsbergen, the Canadian Arctic and parts of the Russian Arctic, especially the islands of Franz Josef and Wrangel. Brown bears can also be found in many parts of the region. Other large animals are the mighty musk ox and reindeer/caribou. There are wolves in some parts of the region, although more often seen is the Arctic fox, with its seasonal coloured fur. Several small mammals live in the Arctic, but the one most often encountered is the diminutive lemming, best known for its suicidal tendencies!Polar Bears
There are relatively few species of fish in Arctic waters apart from the char, which is highly prized by fishermen. Nevertheless, the seas are rich in invertebrates and plankton, which form the base of an important food chain for birds and mammals. Throughout the region can be found colonies pinnipeds, including massive haul-outs of walrus and several species of sea-lions and seals. Seals include ringed, ribbon, bearded, harp, hooded, harbour and, in the north pacific, elephant. Cetaceans abound and there are some that can only be found in the north, such as the narwhal, beluga, northern bottlenose and bowhead. Another marine mammal to be seen in the Bering Sea and Alaskan waters is the delightful sea otter.
The Arctic region is a birder’s paradise with millions of birds migrating north for the short, but rich feeding and nesting summer season. There are some species that are regionally endemic, such as red-legged kittiwakes, horned and tufted puffins, pigeon guillemots, harlequin ducks and four species of auks, which are only found in the Bering Sea area. In the European and Canadian Arctic, there are the rare ivory, Sabine’s and Ross’s gulls, along with others, plus the penguins of the north – little auks, various guillemots, fulmars, Atlantic puffins and buntings. Birds of prey include the pristine snowy owl, four species of skua and the beautiful, but difficult to spot, gyr falcon.learn more
Vegetation of any kind in the Arctic is only found below the snow line and starts with simple, but often colourful lichens. During the short summer months, ice on the tundra melts and a profusions of wildflowers bloom, such as saxifrages, cotton grasses and buttercups, along with crowberries and blueberries. Further south, there are dwarf trees – birches and willows. These all form food for insects, birds and mammals, before being covered once more in autumn snow.
Last Minute WILDFOOT Special Offer
Spitsbergen Photography Special
Book by November 30 and receive a huge discount of £ per person on standard cabins and £ per person on premium cabins! OR 50% off single supplements!
*If booked by 30th November 2017
From Price £6,300
Arctic Wildlife Cruises with WILDFOOT
Embark on an Arctic wildlife adventure expedition with Wildfoot and see amazing animals and birds in their natural and unspoilt environments. See polar bears close up, whales in polar waters and walrus hauled out in their thousands. Listen to the sound of thousands of seabirds on towering cliffs and spot rare species, such as ivory gulls and gyrfalcons. Wherever you choose in the Arctic will be a nature trip of a lifetime.
Arctic Wildlife Cruises
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