WOOD BUFFALO NATIONAL PARK, located in northeastern
The park ranges in elevation from 183 m (600 ft) at the Little
Buffalo River to 945 m (3,100 ft) in the Caribou Mountains . The park
headquarters is located in Fort Smith , with a smaller satellite
This area was designated a
On June 28, 2013, the Royal Astronomical Society of
* 1 History
* 1.1 Before the park * 1.2 As a national park
* 2 Climate * 3 Wildlife * 4 Transportation * 5 Gallery * 6 See also * 7 References * 8 External links
BEFORE THE PARK
This region has been inhabited by human cultures since the end of the last ice age. Aboriginal peoples in this region have followed variations on the subarctic lifeway , based around hunting, fishing, and gathering . Situated at the junction of three major rivers used as canoe routes for trade — the Athabasca , Peace and the Slave Rivers — the region that later became the national park was well travelled for millennia.
In recorded times, the
Sometime after 1781 when a smallpox epidemic decimated the region,
the two groups made a peace treaty at
Peace Point through a ceremonial
pipe ceremony. This is the origin of the name of the
AS A NATIONAL PARK
See also: History of bison conservation in
Established in 1922, the park was created on Crown land acquired the
Between 1925 and 1928, over 6,000 plains bison were introduced to the park, where they hybridized with the local wood bison, as well as introducing bovine tuberculosis and brucellosis diseases into the herd. Parks officials have since that time attempted to undo this damage with successive culls of diseased animals. In 1957, however, a disease-free, wood bison herd of 200 was discovered near Nyarling river in Wood Buffalo National Park. In 1965, 23 of these bison were relocated to the south side of Elk Island National Park and 300 remain there today as the most genetically pure wood bison remaining. Between 1951 and 1967, four thousand bison were killed and 2,000,000 pounds (910,000 kg) of meat were sold from a special abattoir built at Hay Camp. These smaller culls did not eradicate the diseases, however, and in 1990 a plan was announced to cull the entire herd and restock it with undiseased animals from Elk Island National Park. This plan was abandoned due to a negative public reaction to the announcement. Since that time, wolves, the bison's main predator, have recovered in numbers due to a reduction in control efforts (mostly poisoning), reducing the size of the herd.
In 1983, a 21-year lease was granted to Canadian Forest Products Ltd.
to log a 50,000 hectare area of Wood Buffalo National Park. A lawsuit
was filed by the
Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society against Parks
In the park, summers are very short, but days are long. Temperatures range between 10 to 30 °C (50.0 to 86.0 °F) during this season. On average, summers are characterized by warm and dry days although in some years, it can have cool and wet days. The mean high in July is 22.5 °C (72.5 °F) while the mean low is 9.5 °C (49.1 °F). Fall tends to have cool, windy and dry days in which the first snowfall usually occurs in October. Winters are cold with temperatures that can drop below −40 °C (−40.0 °F) in January and February, the coldest months. The mean high in January is −21.7 °C (−7.1 °F) while the mean low is −31.8 °C (−25.2 °F). In spring, temperatures gradually warm up as the days become longer.
Wood Buffalo National Park contains a large variety of wildlife species, such as moose , bison , great grey owls , black bears , hawks , spotted owls , wolf packs, lynxes , beavers , snowy owls , marmots , bald eagles , martens , wolverines , peregrine falcons , whooping cranes , snowshoe hares , sandhill cranes , ruffed grouses , and the world's northernmost population of red-sided garter snakes , which form communal dens within the park.
Wood Buffalo Park contains the only natural nesting habitat for the endangered whooping crane . Known as Whooping Crane Summer Range , it is classified as a Ramsar site . It was identified through the International Biological Program . The range is a complex of contiguous water bodies, primarily lakes and various wetlands , such as marshes and bogs , but also includes streams and ponds.
In 2007, the world's largest beaver dam – about 850-metre (2,790
ft) in length – was discovered in the park using satellite imagery;
The dam, located at 58°16.3′N 112°15.1′W / 58.2717°N
112.2517°W / 58.2717; -112.2517 , about 200 kilometres (120 mi)
Year-round access is available to Fort Smith by road on the Mackenzie
Highway , which connects to Highway 5 near Hay River, Northwest
Territories . Commercial flights are available to Fort Smith and Fort
Location and extent *
Grosbeak Lake *
American white pelicans at Rapids of the Drowned (
Beaver lodge *
* Geography of