Mission Gallery - Country Map

National Geographic and WWF logos

Conservation Facts

Population: 56.400
Total Area: 2.166.086 km2
Population density: 0,00005 per km2
Protected Area: 54%
National Parks: 1
Largest Nature reserve: Northeast Greenland National Park 972.000 km2

Resident Photographers:

Visiting Photographers:

Kai Jensen

Greenland Galleries

On a flight from mainland Europe to North America passengers will struggle to find even the slightest indication that Greenland might live up to its promising name. An area 14 times the size of England is covered with ice. In some places this enormous shield is 100.000 years old and more than 3.200 m thick. Despite of looking so barren and hostile, the world’s largest island is a haven for enigmatic wildlife of the North – at land and on sea.

The Polar Bear decorates the national code of arms of “Kalaallit Nunaat”, Greenlander’s Land, showing the deep connection the Inuit people have with nature around them. Whereas the bears are only seen by a few visitors, other wildlife can be observed more easily even during a short stay. Take the herds of Musk oxen and reindeer close to the city of Kangerlussuaq for example. Or Arctic foxes, hares and ptarmigan that can be seen close to most human settlements.
In the Northeast of Greenland, in the world’s largest national park, wildlife clearly outnumbers the human “population”. The staff at some meteorological stations and the Danish Armed Forces surveillance unit, the Sirius Patrol, are the only residents in an area of 1 Mio km2.

When Viking Erik the Red reached the shores of the island in 982 A.D. the climate was much milder than today, with summer temperatures reaching 18°C. He stepped ashore surrounded by a flowering Arctic eden and thus christened the land “Greenland”.
Almost 500 species of plants can be found here, the majority of which has a European origin. In the South you may even come across thickets of greyleaf willows growing to heights of more than 1,5 m – a record height for “trees” on the island.

Greenland’s offshore waters with their mass production of plankton are the main foraging grounds for 15 species of whales, five species of seals, walruses and some of the biggest seabird colonies in the North-Atlantic.
Although these spectacular marine mammals can regularly be seen from tourist cruise ships, the massive glaciers at Nuuk or Ilulissat, at Kangerlussuaq or Narsarsuaq are still the greatest attraction for visitors by far. The speed at which icebergs are being released into Disko Bay and other places seem to have increased since the millennium. It remains doubtful if and how long the re-growth of the Greenlandic ice, of these 10% of the world’s freshwater reserves, will match the ice that is lost melting in the sea.