What Animals Live in Greenland?


Animals that live in Greenland include polar bears, musk oxen, Arctic foxes, caribou, lemmings, Arctic wolves, hares, reindeer, sea eagles, ptarmigans, puffins, auks, sparrows, gulls, owls, ringed seals, harbor seals, walruses and bearded seals. Along Greenland’s coastal waters, several large mammals migrate and feed, including humpback whales, narwhals, orcas, blue whales, sperm whales, beluga whales, fin whales and mink whales.

Land mammals such as the rare Arctic wolf and lemmings are isolated to the northern part of Greenland. Foxes live near inhabited areas, since these animals eat scraps discarded by humans. Nearly 10,000 musk oxen graze on green mountains near Kangerlussuaq. Along the west coast and east coast, herds of reindeer migrate to the interior parts of Greenland to find food. Polar bears hunt in the North, South and East.

Birds consist of the most diverse group of animals in Greenland. Birds, including ptarmigans and snow buntings, live mainly near the coasts. Small birds include sparrows, buntings and siskin. Greenland is also home to larger birds such as ravens, auks, owls and puffins.

Marine mammals create their own ecosystem in Greenland. Nearly 2 million seals live along the coasts. These animals provide food for orcas and polar bears. Migrating whales follow food sources to the coasts of Greenland, and many tours of the world’s largest island feature whale-watching to observe humpback whales breaching the water’s surface.