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Banks Island
Banks Island
is one of the larger members of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Situated in the Inuvik Region, and part of the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, of the Northwest Territories, it is separated from Victoria Island to its east by the Prince of Wales Strait
Prince of Wales Strait
and from the mainland by Amundsen Gulf
Amundsen Gulf
to its south. The Beaufort Sea
Beaufort Sea
lies to its west, and to its northeast M'Clure Strait
M'Clure Strait
separates the island from Prince Patrick Island
Prince Patrick Island
and Melville Island. It is home to barren-ground caribou, polar bears, and birds such as robins and swallows. Over 68,000 muskoxen also live on the island, the majority of the world's population. As of the 2011 census it had a human population of 112, all in Sachs Harbour.[1]

Contents

1 European discovery 2 Description 3 Ecology 4 HMS Investigator 5 References 6 Further reading 7 External links

European discovery[edit] Pre-Dorset cultural sites have been found that date from approximately 1500 BCE but European contact came much later. In 1820 it was seen from Melville Island by Sir William Edward Parry
William Edward Parry
and named "Banks Land" in honour of Sir Joseph Banks. However, during the later exploration of the area by the McClure Arctic Expedition
McClure Arctic Expedition
the island was marked on their maps as "Baring Island".[2] McClure's ship, the HMS Investigator, was frozen in Prince of Wales Strait. That spring he sent out sledging parties and determined that Banks Island
Banks Island
was an island. In the following year he almost circumnavigated the island but was again frozen in at Mercy Bay where he and his crew spent the next three before making their escape across the ice.[3] The only permanent settlement on the island is the Inuvialuit
Inuvialuit
hamlet of Sachs Harbour
Sachs Harbour
(Ikhuak), on the southwest coast. Description[edit] Banks Island
Banks Island
covers an area 70,028 km2 (27,038 sq mi) and it is the world's 24th largest island and Canada's fifth largest island. It is about 380 km (240 mi) long, and at its widest point at the northern end, 290 km (180 mi) across. The highest point of the island is in the south, Durham Heights and rises to about 730 m (2,400 ft).[4] It is part of the Canadian Arctic
Arctic
Archipelago, and had a population of 112 in 2011, all in Sachs Harbour. Ecology[edit] The island is treeless, with the tallest plant, the Arctic
Arctic
willow, growing occasionally to about the height of a person's knee but usually standing no taller than 10 cm (3.9 in). Banks Island
Banks Island
is home to two-thirds of the world's population of lesser snow geese, which make their way across the Amundsen Gulf
Amundsen Gulf
from the mainland. There is an annual goose hunt in the spring out of Sachs Harbour. The island is part of the tundra world biome, which has extremely cold winters. The island is home to barren-ground caribou, polar bears, muskoxen, and birds such as robins and swallows. Over 68,000 muskoxen live on the island, the majority of the world's population. Two federal migratory bird sanctuaries were founded on the island in 1961. Aulavik National Park
Aulavik National Park
of Canada, a fly-in park, protects about 12,274 km2 (4,739 sq mi) of Arctic
Arctic
lowlands at the northern end of the island.[5] The park has the highest concentration of muskoxen on earth, and is home to the endangered Peary caribou.[5] The Thomsen River runs through the park, and is the northernmost navigable river (by canoe) in North America. Ptarmigan and ravens are considered the only year-round birds in the park, although 43 species make seasonal use of the area. In Inuvialuktun
Inuvialuktun
Aulavik means "place where people travel" and the "wildlife and land have supported aboriginal peoples for more than 3,400 years, from Pre-Dorset cultures to contemporary Inuvialuit."[5] The first confirmed grizzly–polar bear hybrid found in the wild was shot on Banks Island
Banks Island
in April 2006, near Sachs Harbour. HMS Investigator[edit] In July 2010, Parks Canada
Parks Canada
archaeologists looking for HMS Investigator found it 15 minutes after they started a sonar scan of Banks Island's Mercy Bay. The archaeology crew had no plans to raise the ship. They planned to conduct a thorough sonar scan of the area, then send a remotely operated vehicle.[6] References[edit]

^ Sachs Harbour, HAM Northwest Territories
Northwest Territories
(Census subdivision) ^ "Frozen Ocean Search for the North-West Passage". Ve.tpl.toronto.on.ca. Archived from the original on 2012-02-05. Retrieved 2012-05-29.  ^ Armstrong, Alexander (1857). A Personal Narrative of the Discovery of the Northwest Passage. London: Hurst and Blackett. Retrieved 2010-04-07.  ^ James Marsh. "Banks Island". Thecanadianencyclopedia.com. Archived from the original on 2011-11-05. Retrieved 2012-05-29.  ^ a b c " Aulavik National Park
Aulavik National Park
of Canada", Parks Canada, 16 January 2014, retrieved 1 November 2014  ^ "Abandoned 1854 ship found in Arctic". CBC News. July 29, 2010. Retrieved February 26, 2012. 

Further reading[edit]

HMS Investigator, Baring Island, 1851

Canada. Banks Island, a Natural Area of Canadian Significance. Natural area of Canadian significance. Ottawa: Parks Canada, 1978. Cotter, R. C., and J. E. Hines. 2001. "Breeding Biology of Brant on Banks Island, Northwest Territories, Canada". Arctic. 54: 357–366. Gajewski, K, R Mott, J Ritchie, and K Hadden. 2000. "Holocene Vegetation History of Banks Island, Northwest Territories, Canada". Canadian Journal of Botany. 78: 430–436. Holyoak, D. T. Notes on the Birds of Southwestern Banks Island, Northwest Territories, Canada. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club, Vol.103,No.2, June. 1983. Manning, T. H., E. O. Höhn, and A. H. Macpherson. The Birds of Banks Island. 1956. Stephens, L. E., L. W. Sobczak, and E. S. Wainwright. Gravity Measurements on Banks Island, N.W.T. Gravity map series, no. 150. Ottawa: Dept. of Energy, Mines and Resources, Earth Physics Branch, 1972. Stephenson, S.A. 2010. Fishes of the Thomsen River, Banks Island, Northwest Territories. Can. Manuscr. Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 2944: vi + 44 p. Struzik, Ed. 2000. "AND THEN THERE WERE 84,000 – The Return of Musk-Oxen to Canada's Banks Island
Banks Island
in Recent Decades Is Just One Chapter of a Beguiling Arctic
Arctic
Mystery". International Wildlife. 30, no. 1: 28. Will, Richard T. Utilization of Banks Island
Banks Island
Muskoxen by Nineteenth Century Copper Inuit. [S.l.]: Boreal Institute for Northern Studies, 1983.

External links[edit]

Historical sites of the Northwest Passage Chart of the Northwest Passage Banks Island
Banks Island
at civilization.ca Banks Island
Banks Island
Archaeological Site Early Dorset artifacts collected by the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, Northwest Territories, Canada.

v t e

Beaufort Sea
Beaufort Sea
Islands

Arey Island Baillie Island Banks Island Barter Island Cross Island Ellice Island Garry Island Herschel Island Hooper Island Jones Island Kendall Island Mc Clure Island Maguire Island Pingok Island Prince Patrick Island Pullen Island Stockton Island

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 315126

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