When working as an expedition guide it’s one of my jobs to give the guests the best views of Spitsbergen wildlife. On land there aren’t too many mammals on Spitsbergen, only the Arctic Fox and the Spitsbergen subspecies of the Reindeer are native. Both don’t have any natural predators so they are not very shy to humans. In this case we were walking with a relatively small group  at Dolerittneset, Edgeøya when we found a small herd of Reindeer. As there is only little vegetation the Reindeer herds are only a small fraction of the sizes they have in North America and Scandinavia. In this case a group of three was grazing on the tundra. They were slowly moving along the tundra and we placed ourselves somewhere along their route. Now all we had to do was wait. And indeed, as usual they were more focussed on their food as on their surroundings. At some point the animals were just a few meters away and all I could do was just enjoy the animals being that close as they were way too close for my camera. After a while they moved along, leaving behind a bunch of happy people behind with lots of pictures.

Spitsbergen Reindeer

Of course I made a few close up shots, but I prefer to show a bit more of their environment as in this picture.

Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.

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