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Polar expeditions | Wrangel Island

Wrangel Island  is an island in the Arctic Ocean, between the Chukchi Sea and East Siberian Sea.  The closest land to Wrangel Island is tiny and rocky Herald Island located 60 km (37 mi) to the east. The distance to the closest point on the mainland is 140 km (87 mi). Wrangel Island may have been the last place on earth where mammoths survived.

Nearly all of Wrangel Island, and Herald Island, are a federally protected nature sanctuary administered by Russia's Ministry of Natural Resources. The island, and its surrounding waters, were classified as a "strict nature reserve".

Wrangel Island is about 125 km (78 mi) wide and 7,600 km2 (2,900 sq mi) in area. It consists of a southern coastal plain that is as wide as 15 km (9.3 mi); a central belt of low-relief mountains; and a northern coastal plain that is as wide as 25 km (16 mi). The east-west trending central mountain belt, the Tsentral'nye Mountain Range, is as much as 40 km (25 mi) wide and 145 km (90 mi) long from coast to coast. Typically, the mountains are a little over 500 m (1,600 ft) above mean sea level. The highest mountain on this island is Sovetskaya Mountain with an elevation of 1,096 m (3,596 ft) above mean sea level. The east-west trending mountain range terminates at sea cliffs at either end of the island.

Wrangel Island is a breeding ground for polar bears (having the highest density of dens in the world), seals, walrus, and lemmings. During the summer it is visited by many types of birds. Arctic fox also make their home on the island.

Woolly mammoths survived there until 2000–2500 BC, the most recent survival of all known mammoth populations. However, due to limited food supply, they were much smaller in size than typical mammoths. Isolated from the mainland for 6000 years, about 500 to 1000 mammoths lived on the island at a time. Domestic reindeer were introduced in the 1950s and their numbers are managed at around 1,000 in order to reduce their impact on nesting bird grounds. In 1975, the musk ox was also introduced. The population has grown from 20 to about 200 animals. In 2002 arctic wolves were spotted on the island; wolves have lived on the island in historical times but previous packs were eradicated to reduce predation on reindeer and musk ox.

The flora includes 417 species of plants, double that of any other Arctic tundra territory of comparable size and more than any other Arctic island.

 

                           14 days, 1440 km.


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Polar expeditions | Wrangel Island | Summer 2013

ATV tour on the western side of the Wrangel island  - ATVs tour on the Wrangel island with helicopter transfer. ATV tour on the western side of the Wrangel island .  Wrangel Island is a unique monument of nature,  included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. This  island is a nature reserve of polar bears, musk oxen, walruses, foxes and various of birds (including the legendary pink gull), and the island of the richest species plant ...
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