The Natural System of Wrangel Island Reserve comprises a group of two islands north of the Arctic Circle with a remarkable high diversity of plants and animals. Wrangel Island and Herald Island lie in the High Arctic Tundra ecoregion, with a very dry and cold climate. They have a mountainous landscape, with valleys, lakes and rivers. Vegetation consists of tundra and steppe underlain with permafrost. The surrounding waters are also part of the designated area.
The islands were not glaciated during the last Ice Age, and subsequently served as a refuge for Pleistocene species that have not survived elseweher. Wrangel also is on the
intersection of two major continental systems – Asia and North America -and has species from both.
Notable features include:
• northernmost Migratory bird destination
• northernmost marine mammal location (gray whales and dolphins)
• breeding habitat of Asia’s only Snow goose population
• the largest population of Pacific walrus with up to 100,000 animals congregating
• a breeding ground for polar bears (having the highest density of dens in the world),
• woolly mammoths survived on Wrangel Island until 1650 BC, the most recent survival of all known mammoth populations.
• remains of a palaeoeskimo site as well as several small deserted reindeer herder’s settlements
Herald Island is uninhabited, and Wrangel is home to a handful of rangers and scientists.
Have you been to Natural System of Wrangel Island Reserve? Share your experiences!
Add your own review