Four primarily terrestrial mammalian species inhabit the archipelago: the Arctic Fox, the Svalbard reindeer, polar bears and Southern Vole. There are fifteen to twenty types of marine mammals, including whales, dolphins, seals and walruses.
The Svalbard reindeer (R. tarandus platyrhynchus) is a distinct sub-species, and while previously almost extinct, hunting is permitted for both it and the Arctic Fox.About thirty types of bird are found on Svalbard, most of which are migratory. The Barents Sea is among the areas in the world with most seabirds, with about 20 million individuals during late summer. The most common are Little Auk, Northern Fulmar, Thick-billed Murre and Black-legged Kittiwake. Sixteen species are on the IUCN Red List. Particularly Bjørnøya, Storfjorden, Nordvest-Spitsbergen and Hopen are important breeding ground for seabirds.Polar bears are one of the main tourist attractions in Svalbard.
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