The Greenland Wolf Research Program is still looking for collaborators for a field season in Germania Land, Northeast Greenland at 77°N. Our goal is to get in and out of this remote area in a way that is financially responsible for a small, long-term, field research program. This generally means a split-charter with other smaller parties on a cost-sharing basis (e.g., geologists, naturalists, sports expeditions, etc.). Collaborators can have their own interests and do not have to be active participants in our survey work. We last visited Germania Land in 1997.
Our aim in this area is not to study arctic wolves. Twenty years of data suggest they no longer occur there at a meaningful level (but dispersers may come down from North Greenland at any time). Habitat conditions are, however, of interest and in particular the distribution and abundance of other wildlife that wolves in Greenland are known to prey upon: Muskoxen, geese, lemmings, arctic foxes, etc. We are especially interested in surveying the large, ice-free areas near the Inland Ice, where aerial surveys during July 1988 located 5,000-9,000 pink-footed geese. These areas are rarely visited by people, and some localities may not have been surveyed on the ground for decades, if ever. Because of this focus, other biologists specializing in muskoxen or geese would be ideal collaborators.
Germania Land is located inside the Northeast Greenland National Park and an access permit and other permits are required by the Greenland home rule government. Essential equipment includes: 1) a firearm of a caliber large enough to do significant damage to a polar bear (handled by someone with formal, firearms safety training), 2) an Iridium satellite phone with a service provider, 3) a personal locator beacon, 4) a hand-held VHF radio, and 5) an assortment of general, expedition-grade, mountaineering equipment. Search-and-rescue insurance is mandatory. Inclement weather (fog, snow, storms) and temperatures of 0°-5°C are normal in summer. Walrus and polar bears are common along the coast. A few cabins can be found in the area, providing possible alternatives to tenting. There are no maintained trails, no bridges across rivers, and no support facilities. Expeditions must be completely self-sufficient. The area has a rich exploration history by Europeans, dating back to the German Arctic Expedition that arrived on foot in April 1870. Historical sites and graves of Danes who succumbed to scurvy or were surprised by a snowstorm can be seen there. Numerous paleoeskimo archeological sites also exist. A modern weather station manned year-round is located near the outer coast.
The Wolf Program will be working in Northwest Greenland in June-July 2020 but would consider committing to a joint venture in Germania Land in August 2020 or July-August 2021. Interested parties are asked to contact us at the email address in this add. Thank you!
The Greenland Wolf Research Program is a long-term study of the ecology of arctic wolves in Greenland started in 1991. Publications resulting from this research have appeared in the following peer-reviewed journals or proceedings: Arctic, Canadian Field-Naturalist, Canadian Journal of Zoology, Ecology and Conservation of Wolves in a Changing World, Polar Biology, Polar Record, Journal of Mammalogy, and Wildlife Biology. We gratefully acknowledge logistical support by the Royal Danish Air Force, the Royal Danish Navy, the United States Air Force, and others.