Birds and Mammals

The department prepares Pinngortitaleriffiks scientific advisory material on exploitation and protection of marine mammals, land mammals, birds, and vegetation.
The department is occupied mainly with species that are of importance to the community, but the financial limits do not enable the department to maintain continuous investigation programs on all exploited species.

Recent years research and monitoring

In the past few years, activities have focused on research and monitoring of beluga, narwhal, great whales, walrus, hooded seal, harp seal, caribou, musk ox, black-throated diver, kittiwake, common eider and arctic tern.

Advising to the Home Rule

The department also provides advising and support to the Home Rule in areas that are not restricted to species, but are to do with environmental management in general, such as Greenlands obligations in relation to certain international agreements and classification of Greenlandic animal and plant species according to their status.

Scientific fields of work

The department performs a number of routine assignments as part of the scientific work. These include age determinations on teeth from seals, belugas, narwhals, and caribou, assessment of the physical condition of birds, data entering, processing of biological samples, analyses of hunting statistics, handling of tags and biological samples as well as planning and completion of set monitoring assignments.

Reports and scientific papers, participation in international meetings

In addition, the department continuously plans and carries out new research projects and prepares reports, meeting documents, scientific papers, and advisory material as well as participating in international meetings in scientific settings.

Cooperation with local hunters and gamekeepers

Some of the investigations are carried out in cooperation with local hunters, gamekeepers, and fisheries officers. For instance, Pinngortitaleriffik has entered into an agreement with local hunters who are now carrying out collection of material and information on breeding eider as well as caribou, musk ox and seals in a number of areas. Satellite tracing of hooded seal and narwhal is also carried out in close cooperation with local hunters. The hunters information forms part of the basis for the Institutes advising.
The Institute is continuously working to expand this kind of cooperation and to increase the exchange of knowledge between hunters and biologists. This is achieved, among other things, through greater direct contact to local hunters in connection with ongoing projects. In addition, employees make a point of meeting with local interest groups in connection with field work and of participating in relevant seminars etc.


The department collaborates with the Department of Infrastructure, Climate and Environment and the Department of Fisheries, Hunting and Agriculture, and also enjoys close ties to the Danish Centre for Environment and Energy (DCE), certain universities, and research bodies in other countries.

International scientific cooperation on advising

Employees participate in international scientific activities relating to research and advising on the species with which the department is concerned. The department participates in scientific collaboration and preparation of advisory material for the following international bodies:

  • CAFF Circumpolar Seabird Working Group, se også CSWG
  • CSWG (Circumpolar Seabird Working Group)
  • CARMA (CircumArctic Rangifer Monitoring and Assessment network)
  • CITES - international handel med udryddelsestruede vilde dyr og planter
  • Joint Commission on Conservation and Management of Narwhal and Beluga, JCNB
  • ICES/NAFO arbejdsgruppe vedrørende grønlandssæl og klapmyds
  • IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group
  • IUCN Seal Specialist Group
  • IWC (International Whaling Commission)
  • IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature)
  • NAMMCO (North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission)
  • Nordic Council for Reindeer Husbandry Research
  • WITS (Walrus International Technical and Scientific Commitee)
Contact Fernando Ugarte
+299 361242
Updated 10.26.2015

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Humpback whale in Disko Bay.
Humpback whale in Disko Bay. Foto: Fernando Ugarte.
Instrumenting Walrus.
Instrumenting Walrus. Photo: Carsten Egevang.
Recapturing Sabines Gull.
Recapturing Sabines Gull.  Photo: Carsten Egevang.