404 images Created 24 Jun 2017
Svalbard, also known as Spitsbergen, is an archipelago between mainland Norway and the North Pole and it is home to the polar bear. It is a land of dramatic snow peaks, glaciers, fjords, vast ice fields and stunning ice bergs. It is one of the last great wildernesses and is known to be the domain of the polar bear. It has rich wildlife and arctic nature that extends above 74º degrees latitude up to 81º. Longyearbyen is the main settlement and home to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, the world's most secure seed bank and long term seed storage. Svalbard has an Arctic climate with significantly higher temperatures than other areas of the same latitude due to the Gulf Stream current. It is home to over 3000 polar bears that are protected from hunting and so it is the best place in the world to see these apex predators of the north. Polar bears can be found anywhere in Svalbard. Walruses, Svalbard reindeer, Arctic fox, and Arctic hare are also residents year round. Because of its latitude, Svalbard has 24 hours of sunlight in the summer and 24 hours of darkness in the winter. It is one of the most magical places on this planet.