Great Canadian Parks / Yukon Territory

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The Parks / Yukon Territory / Ivvavik National Park


As the sun returns to the Arctic, the birds begin to arrive and the tundra fills with life. Some, like the golden plover, travel from as far south as Patagonia, and the tern journeys each year from the Antarctic. Eurasian wheatear, yellow wagtail and bluethroat migrate across the Bering Sea. Golden eagles, gyrfalcon, peregrine falcon, rough-legged hawks, snow geese, whistling swans and many species of waterfowl all come to nest along the coast. Dolly Varden char and Arctic greyling abound in the Firth and Babbage Rivers while whitefish, smelt and lake trout are caught in the park's lakes and ponds.


Of the larger land animals, moose and muskox prefer the open coastal plain, grizzly and black bear, Dall's sheep, red and arctic fox and wolverines may be seen throughout the park, and the Polar bear abandons his seal hunt to come ashore mainly in winter. Marten and porcupine prefer forest cover, and vole, squirrels and lemmings all nest underground.


The need to protect the calving ground where the Porcupine Caribou herds are at their most vulnerable was one of the prime concerns in establishing the park. The annual migration in June brings the herds of 160 000 caribou from Alaska, where they have wintered in warmer climes, to the safety of Ivvavik 'a place for giving birth and raising young'.


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