Ranger Station, Wrangel Island

Aug 19, 2019 - National Geographic Orion

Today was our final day in Wrangel Island. After the rangers gave a presentation yesterday, about living in an isolated area with musk ox and polar bears as neighbours, we had a chance to visit their home at the ranger station. Luckily, the bay gave us some rest from the strong wind, and we could do a safe landing on the beach. The scenery was stunning, and we got to see the old hunter homes and the remains of what had once been an old Inuit community. Salmon was moving upstream in the braided river, and a Pomarine Jaeger caught an easy meal. The tundra vegetation on Wrangel Island is vast and very diverse, with around 400 distinct plant species. On the flat plateau south of the east to west trending Wrangel Island mountain range, the vegetation easily grows on the fluvial deposits around the ranger station. It has been an interesting and eventful visit to the rarely visited Wrangel Island, and we are now heading back towards the more civilized mainland again.

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About the Author

Andreas Madsen


Andreas was born in the village of Ebeltoft on the central east coast of Denmark and has spent his childhood years with the sea and open fields as neighbours. For a child of the North, fishing, bicycling, skiing, and hiking come along with your first steps and nature has always had a self-explanatory role in Andreas’ life. Between studies he left Denmark to travel and it was during his months in South America he discovered his curiosity and interest for geology. 

About the Photographer

Chris Rainier

National Geographic Photographer

Acclaimed documentary photographer Chris Rainier specializes in highlighting endangered cultures and traditional languages around the globe. In 2002, he received the Lowell Thomas Award from The Explorers Club for his efforts in cultural preservation, and was elected in 2014 as a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society of London. Rainier has been a National Geographic Fellow as well as co-founder and co-director of National Geographic’s Enduring Voices Project and director of the All Roads Photography Program, both designed to support indigenous groups desiring to document their traditional cultures and create sustainable solutions to preserve the planet in the 21st century. Chris also served as a cultural editor and photographer for National Geographic Traveler magazine for over 18 years.

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