Wrangel Island - Polar Bear Haven

If you’re a fan of polar bears then Wrangel Island is a heritage site that you simply should not miss. It is situated in the Arctic Ocean, wedged between Chukchi and the East Siberian Seas and is geographically marked as being a part of Russia. Wrangel Island measures roughly 125 kilometers (78 miles) in width and covers approximately 7300 square kilometers (2 800 miles²). The highest point of the island is the Sovetskaya Mountain, which is about 3 596 ft in height.

Wrangel Island may not have the most amazing vegetation, but what it does have is plenty of polar bears. The only permanent human settlement on the island is a weather station that has been built into the rocky ground that characterizes the landmass. Wrangel Island has the highest density of polar bear breeding dens in the world, which makes it the perfect place to observe these beautiful creatures. It also acts as a breeding ground for seals and lemmings and, in the summer months, it is visited by a variety of birds. Nature lovers will have to tread carefully on the island since this icy place ‘belongs’ to the animals that have made it their home. Foreigners should never visit without a trained guide who can help them to make the most of their trip in the safest manner possible.

Apart from polar bears, Wrangel Island is also known for its unusual concentration of mammoth remains. It is thought that mammoths were able to survive on Wrangel Island as late as 1700 BC, which is far later than in any other place on the planet. Many may find it strange to think that these woolly, ice-age creatures may have walked the island as late as the 18th century, yet it would seem that this truly was the case. However, because of the limited food supply on the island, the mammoths were much smaller than those whose remains have been found in other parts of the world.

There are several reasons for Wrangel Island’s inclusion as a World Heritage Site, such as the recentness of the mammoth fossils found here, the incredible diversity that exists in this arctic tundra, and the existence and peculiarity of a number of animals species such as the endangered Asian Snow goose and the Snowy owl who nest here and interact with many of the other creatures who live on or frequent the island. It has the highest density of breeding polar bears and the largest walrus population in the Pacific. It is also an important feeding ground for the Gray Whale and is clearly the perfect place for nature enthusiasts to include in their travel plans.


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