Auyuittuq National Park
|Auyuittuq National Park|
|Nearest city||Pangnirtung, Qikiqtarjuaq|
|Governing body||Parks Canada|
Auyuittuq National Park[pronunciation?] is a national park located on Baffin Island's Cumberland Peninsula, Qikiqtaaluk Region in Nunavut, the largest political subdivision of Canada. It features many terrains of Arctic wilderness, such as fjords, glaciers, and ice fields. In Inuktitut (the language of Nunavut's aboriginal people, the Inuit), Auyuittuq (current spelling: ᐊᐅᔪᐃᑦᑐᖅ aujuittuq) means "the land that never melts." Although Auyuittuq was established in 1976 as a national park reserve, it was upgraded to a full national park in 2000.
Little vegetation can be found in Auyuittuq Park, although the plants found there range from flowers such as Mountain Avens, Campion, Papaver, and Saxifrage to shrubs like Dwarf Birch, Arctic Willow, and heather. Many of the plants in Auyuittuq Park grow in clumps to create their own warmer "microclimate" to survive the harsh Arctic conditions.
Because of the exceptionally low vegetation supply, wildlife is very scarce. There are only 12 species of mammals that live in Auyuittuq Park including Lemmings (both the North American Brown Lemming and the Northern Collared Lemming), Arctic Hare, and Ermine to Polar Bear, Arctic Fox, and some Barren-ground Caribou.
The nearest towns are Qikiqtarjuaq and Pangnirtung. Visitors wishing to enter the park are required by Parks Canada to register at the park office in Pangnirtung or Qikiqtarjuaq, and attend an orientation session. Park user fees apply.
The most common backpacking route in the park is known as Akshayuk Pass, and follows the Weasel and Owl Rivers via Summit Lake. In 2008, heavy rain and warm weather caused Summit Lake to burst through its banks, flooding the Weasel River and washing away the Windy Lake bridge (see photo below). As a result, the hiking routes in the pass are limited to either side of the Weasel River.
- Ferguson, Steven H, Mitchell K Taylor, and Francois Messier. 1997. "Space Use by Polar Bears in and Around Auyuittuq National Park, Northwest Territories, During the Ice-Free Period". Canadian Journal of Zoology. 75, no. 10: 1585.
- Hines, James E., and Steve Moore. The Vegetation and Flora of Auyuittuq National Park Reserve, Baffin Island. Yellowknife: Dept. of Renewable Resources, Govt. of the Northwest Territories, 1988.
- Konotepetz, Larry. Archaeological Sites of Auyuittuq National Park Reserve. Microfiche report series, 315. [Ottawa]: Environment Canada, Canadian Parks Service, 1985.
- Masterton, J. M., and B. F. Findlay. The Climate of Auyuittuq National Park, Baffin Island, Northwest Territories. Toronto: Atmospheric Environment Service, Meteorological Applications Branch, 1976.
- Tarnocai, C. Monitoring the Integrity of Cultural Sites, Auyuittuq National Park Reserve. Ottawa: Research Branch (ECORC), Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 1998.
- Wilson, Roger. The Land That Never Melts Auyuittuq National Park. Toronto: Peter Martin Associates Limited in association with Indian and Northern Affairs and Pub. Centre, Supply and Services Canada, 1976. ISBN 0-88778-143-8
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Auyuittuq National Park.|
- Parks Canada official site
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- Newspaper article about Auyuittuq National Park by Dallas Morning News reporter Dave Levinthal