WRANGEL ISLAND

(18-19 July) Wrangel Island is an island in the Arctic Ocean, between the Chukchi Sea and East Siberian Sea. It lies 

astride the 180° meridian. The International Date Line is displaced eastwards at this latitude to avoid the island as well as the Chukchi Peninsula on the Russian mainland. Area: 2,934 mi Elevation: 3,596′ Wrangle Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so named for its diverse flora and habitat for migratory birds as well as being a favorite of polar bears. 

The island boasts the world’s largest population of Pacific walrus and the highest density of ancestral polar bear dens. It is a major feeding ground for the grey whale and the northernmost nesting ground for 100 migratory bird species, many endangered. 

Currently, 417 species and subspecies of vascular plants have been identified on the island, double that of any other Arctic tundra territory of comparable size and more than any other Arctic island.

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© 2019 Anita Ruthling Klaussen