Below you can find a complete list of Jan Mayen animals. We currently track 131 animals in Svalbard and Jan Mayen and are adding more every day!
Svalbard and Jan Mayen, two island regions of Norway, sit in the Arctic Ocean. The former is inhabited and supports a population of nearly 3,000, while the latter is a research island that humans only visit part of the year. The other main difference between the two is that Svalbard is an archipelago, and Jan Mayen is a single volcanic island.
As you’ve already likely guessed, Svalbard and Jan Mayen are double-thermal cold! Svalbard’s average summer temperature ranges between 39 °F and 45 °F, and the mercury plummets to about 12 °F in winters. Jan Mayen’s climate is about the same as Svalbard’s but slightly colder in the summer months.
Due to its isolated location and below-average temperatures, the terrestrial wildlife in Svalbard and Jan Mayen isn’t very diverse. However, many avian species fly area skies, and the marine life is ample.
The Official National Animal of Svalbard and Jan Mayen
Technically, Svalbard is part of the Kingdom of Norway, where the lion is the official royal animal. But the archipelago has special self-governing rights, and residents claim polar bears as their animal avatar. Being a research-only island, Jan Mayen doesn’t have a special animal.
Norway also has a national bird, the White-throated dipper, in addition to a national horse, the fjord horse.
Where To Find the Top Wild Animals in Svalbard and Jan Mayen
Arctic foxes, reindeer, and voles maintain healthy populations in Svalbard — and they’re the only land mammals, besides humans and polar bears, on the archipelago. Dolphins, whales, seals, and walruses can also be found in surrounding waters and coasts. Moreover, about 80 bird species — including the iconic puffin — spend some part of the year living around the north Arctic islands.
The Svalbard reindeer is endemic to the islands, and at one point, it was on the verge of going extinct. Today, the species isn’t 100 percent in the clear, but the population is growing at a healthy clip.
The Most Dangerous Animals in Svalbard and Jan Mayen Today
Since Svalbard and Jan Mayen are remote, rural locales, animals are everywhere — which can prove dangerous! Notably, polar bear attacks are more common than is comfortable. In 2018, one badly injured a tour guide, and in 2021, a German man met his demise at the hands of a polar bear.
Polar bears are the most dangerous animals in Svalbard and Jan Mayen. In fact, apart from humans, they may be the only dangerous animals on the islands. However, the rugged wildlife terrain presents catastrophic threats, like avalanches. And Jan Mayen is a volcano.
Endangered Animals In Svalbard and Jan Mayen
Svalbard and Jan Mayen may not be a biodiversity hotspot, but threats presented by climate change and human encroachment still cause problems.
Animals in Svalbard and Jan Mayen on the IUCN’s Red List:
- Atlantic cod — Endangered
- Black-tailed godwit — Near Threatened
- Buff-breasted sandpiper — Near Threatened
- Egyptian vulture — Endangered
- Eurasian curlew — Near Threatened
- Haddock — Vulnerable
- Hooded seal — Vulnerable
- Ivory gull — Near Threatened
- Sooty shearwater — Near Threatened
- Steller’s eider — Vulnerable
- Walrus — Vulnerable
- Fin whale — Endangered
- Blue whale — Endangered
- North Atlantic right whale — Critically Endangered
- Bowhead whale — Endangered
- Polar bear — Vulnerable
Jan Mayen Animals
Jan Mayen Animals List
- Arctic Fox
- Barn Owl
- Black Widow Spider
- Camel Cricket
- Common Buzzard
- Common Loon
- Crab Spider
- Edible Frog
- Flying Squirrel
- Glass Lizard
- Glow Worm
- Golden Oriole
- Highland Cattle
- Honey Bee
- Huntsman Spider
- Long-Eared Owl
- Marsh Frog
- Pike Fish
- Polar Bear
- Pond Skater
- Pool Frog
- Purple Emperor Butterfly
- Puss Moth
- Raccoon Dog
- River Turtle
- Skink Lizard
- Slow Worm
- Snowy Owl
- Spadefoot Toad
- Stag Beetle
- Stick Insect
- Tawny Owl
- Tiger Moth
- Tree Frog
- Water Buffalo
- Water Vole
- Wolf Spider
Animals in Svalbard and Jan Mayen FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Are There Wolves in Svalbard?
No, wolves don’t live in Svalbard. However, some people mistake Arctic foxes for wolves.
Are There Animals in Svalbard and Jan Mayen?
Yes. Though the wildlife scene is more sparse than other places due to its frigid climate, it does exist.
Do Penguins Live in Svalbard?
No, penguins don’t live in Svalbard.
Do Reindeer Live in Svalbard and Jan Mayen?
Yes, reindeer live in Svalbard, but not on Jan Mayen.
What Animals Have Gone Extinct in Svalbard?
The Svalbard reindeer almost went extinct until officials implemented conservation measures. Beyond that, prehistoric animals once roamed the lands when the world’s mass was one giant continent called Pangea.