The Northeast Greenland National Park was created in 1974, then expanded in 1988 to its present size, making it the largest land national park in the world. The area is nearly the combined size of France and Spain. If Northeast Greenland National Park were a country it would be the 31st largest country in the world – in between Egypt and Tanzania.
The largest land national park - 972,000 km sq
The National Park in Greenland is an Arctic paradise located in the north-eastern corner of the country, the park is larger than any other national park in the world. However, due to its size and relative inaccessibility it is not a national park in the traditional sense. For thousands of years, various Inuit cultures have lived and survived here thanks to the high Arctic species of animals.
Apart from the around 40 people at a couple of meteorological stations and the Danish Armed Forces surveillance unit, the elite Sirius Patrol, no people live in the area. The only people who have regular access to the area are sealers and whalers from Ittoqqortoormiit, which is the gateway to the park itself and is also one of the most remote towns in Greenland. In order to travel and stay in the National Park, visitors must have a permit from the Ministry of Nature & Environment.
The Sirius Patrol has its main base at Daneborg in Northeast Greenland. The Patrol is responsible for monitoring the area by dog sled and sailing. They also have to control expeditions and conservation regulations in the national park. Zackenberg Research Station is located about 450 km north of Ittoqqortoormiit. Monitoring and research is conducted here into the effects of climate change.
Between 5000 and 15,000 musk oxen live in the area of the national park, about 40% of the worldwide population. In addition, numerous polar bears and walruses can be found in the coastal areas. Other land mammals are arctic wolf, arctic fox, ermine, lemmings and arctic hare. Reindeer have disappeared since 1900. Marine mammals include the ringed seal, bearded seal, harp seal, collapsible cap, narwhal, and beluga. The most common birds are common loons, barnacles, short-billed goose, eider, king eider, gyrfalcon, snowy owl, sanderling, ptarmigan and common raven.
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