Below you can find a complete list of Greenlandic animals. We currently track 114 animals in Greenland and are adding more every day!
Greenland enjoys a unique landscape. For starters, it’s the world’s largest island, and though geographically linked to North America, the region is part of Scandinavia’s political and cultural milieu.
Greenland Wildlife Overview
Greenland is a famous misnomer as 79 percent of it is covered in ice. Yet, despite its lack of arable land, the region has more biodiversity than many people might assume. About 700 insects inhabit the island, and its waters are teeming with marine life.
However, due to a frigid climate and challenging topography, Greenland doesn’t have many terrestrial mammals. But the ones that survive on the glacial stronghold are memorable and unique, including polar bears, reindeer, muskox, Arctic foxes, Arctic wolves, collared lemmings, and lest we forget to mention, Greenlandic sled dogs, the hometown canines.
In the surrounding waters, whales are still relatively plentiful, and Inuit communities can sustenance-hunt the ocean behemoths, in addition to walruses, seals, and porpoises. Moreover, commercial fishing is a vital spoke in Greenland’s economic wheel. Shrimp, cod, halibut, and salmon are the most common catch.
The Official National Animal of Greenland
Greenland is an autonomous territory under the Kingdom of Denmark. As such, it doesn’t have an official national animal. But polar bears are a prominent part of Greenland’s wildlife, so the iconic bears are the territory’s unofficial national animal.
Where To Find Wild Animals in Greenland
The Northeast Greenland National Park is the best place to spot wild animals on the island. At 375,000 square miles, it’s the world’s largest national park. Established in the 1970s and expanded in the 1980s, the Northeast is larger than 166 countries! It’s also the northernmost national park on the planet.
The Most Dangerous Animals in Greenland Today
Greenland is unique in that it has very few dangerous animals. By far, polar bears are the most lethal, and everyone should avoid confrontations at all costs. The giant bears have been known to kill humans with a single paw swipe. Rabid foxes are also a problem in the summer, and walruses have been known to attack humans under certain circumstances.
Other than the three species cited, Greenland is relatively free of dangerous animals.
Endangered and Extinct Animals in Greenland
Several of Greenland’s animal species are on the IUCN’s Red List and in danger of becoming extinct, including:
- Hooded seal — Vulnerable
- Reindeer — Vulnerable
- North Atlantic right whale — Critically Endangered
- Blue whale — Endangered
- Fin whale — Vulnerable
- Sperm whale — Vulnerable
Extinct Arctic animals, like the great auk, a prehistoric precursor to the penguin, and woolly mammoths once occupied Greenland.
Greenlandic Animals List
- American Coonhound
- Arctic Fox
- Arctic Hare
- Arctic Wolf
- Black Widow Spider
- Camel Cricket
- Common House Spider
- Common Loon
- Common Raven
- Glass Lizard
- Glow Worm
- Greenland Dog
- Grizzly Bear
- Highland Cattle
- Honey Bee
- Hooded Seal
- Long-Eared Owl
- Mountain Lion
- Orb Weaver
- Pike Fish
- Polar Bear
- Skink Lizard
- Snowy Owl
- Spadefoot Toad
- Stag Beetle
- Stick Insect
- Tarantula Hawk
- Tiger Beetle
- White-Tailed Eagle
- Wolf Spider
Animals in Greenland FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What is the Most Common Animal in Greenland?
Researchers currently don’t have reliable counts. However, educated guesses point to either reindeer or Arctic hares as the most common animal in Greenland. Although, one of the 700 insect populations may outnumber both mammal species.
Are There Dangerous Animals in Greenland?
Yes, polar bears live in Greenland, and they rank among the most dangerous animals in the world. The gigantic bears can kill humans with just one “punch.”
Does Greenland Have Indigenous Animals?
Approximately 26 mammals are indigenous to Greenland and its surrounding waters. Although reindeer have decent populations in the region, they’re not native species. Instead, caribou arrived with Europeans who colonized the island.
Arctic hares, Arctic foxes, and musk oxen are indigenous to the region, as our several types of whales.
Does Greenland Have a Zoo?
Greenland doesn’t have a formal zoo. However, people book guided wildlife tours, which many consider being a superior and more humane “zoo” experience.