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03 January 2011
Commemorative Issue

Wildlife in Norway VI

Polar bear (Ursus maritimus)  

Polar bear (Ursus maritimus)


An encounter with a Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) in its own environment is the dream of everyone who visits the Arctic. The polar bear is the very symbol of the northern polar areas, just as penguins are the signature species of Antarctica. The polar bear is reckoned to be the largest land predator in the world, rivalled only by the Alaskan Kodiak bear. The record-holding polar bear was shot in Alaska in 1960 and weighed 1003 kg, but they rarely reach this size. A full-grown polar bear on Svalbard weighs about 500 kg and usually has a maximum life span of 25 years. The oldest polar bear recorded on Svalbard was a female aged 32. The population there is now estimated at about 1500.

Hunting of polar bears has been prohibited on Svalbard since 1973. Climate changes are starting to create serious problems for the polar bear and researchers are concerned about the recent developments in the Arctic. The absence of summer ice in the polar basin may become a reality in the course of this century. At the same time the winter period when new ice is formed may become shorter. This will restrict both living areas and the possibility of hunting seal. Seal represents more than 90 per cent of the polar bear

Muskox (Ovibos moschatus)  

Muskox (Ovibos moschatus)


The Muskox (Ovibos moschatus) is related to both sheep and cattle. Its muzzle, hooves and short tail resemble those of a sheep, while its size and the four teats of the female are comparable to a cow.

The muskox

Technical Information

NK: 1777 - 1778
Date of issue: 3 January 2011
Values and subjects:
Kr 17,00: Polar bear (Ursus maritimus)
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