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Q: What should I take into account when travelling to the Arctic?

  • Avoid unnecessary damage to the ground surface and vegetarian cover, as regeneration rates are extremely slow. Do not take specimens from plants. Do not pick flowers.
  • Avoid disturbing or feeding the wildlife. Be aware of your activities and whether they are resulting in a change of the animals’ behaviour. Be aware that Rabies does occur on Spitsbergen, particularly in Arctic Foxes. Be careful when moving in areas where birds are nesting. If birds are disturbed and leave their nests, the uncovered eggs cool quickly and are easy prey for gulls and foxes.
  • Avoid herding or alarming geese and ducks.
  • On several locations on the islands, cultural monuments and items such as burial sites, blubber ovens, crosses, hunting tools, etc. are regularly encountered. Such cultural monuments are generally protected by law. It is unlawful to destroy or remove such monuments and items from the place where they are found.
  • Do not take souvenirs, including whale or seal bones, live or dead animals, rocks, fossils, plants, or other organic material.

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