Old Crow Flats

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Old Crow Flats
IUCN category IV (habitat/species management area)
Area 6,170 square kilometres (2,380 sq mi)
Designated 24 May 1982

Old Crow Flats is a 6,170 km2 (2,382 sq mi) wetland complex in northern Yukon, Canada along the Old Crow River. It is north of the Arctic Circle and south of the Beaufort Sea, and is nearly surrounded by mountains.[1]

The archaeological sites in the area demonstrate some of the earliest human habitation in North America.


The site is protected by the Yukon Wildlife Ordinance and Migratory Birds Convention Act. It was identified as part of the International Biological Program inventory, and was designated a wetland of international importance via the Ramsar Convention on May 24, 1982.

The habitat is an important breeding area for aquatic mammals and peregrine falcons, and is also used for summer moulting by waterfowl, as well as an autumn staging site for various species of birds.[2] For this reason, it is considered an Important Bird Area.[3]

Per the Vuntut Gwitchin Final Agreement, the southern extent of Old Crow Flats (approximately 7,785 km²) is classified as a Special Management Area by the Yukon Government; the northern portion is now part of Vuntut National Park.[4] Old Crow Flats contains more than 2,000 ponds and marshes,[5]


"The area includes some of the richest archaeological sites of early human habitation in North America".[6] More than 20,000 fossils have been collected in the area, including some never reported in North America.[2]

Fossils and artifacts[edit]

Many northern Yukon rivers, including Old Crow River and Porcupine River, changed course relatively recently, and cut through the fossil-bearing deposits. As a result, millions of fossils were eroded from the bluffs and redeposited in new riverbanks.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Life on the Flats". Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation. Retrieved 2007-08-05. 
  2. ^ a b "Old Crow Flats". archive.org. Archived from the original on May 9, 2008. Retrieved 2016-04-04. 
  3. ^ "Old Crow Flats". IBA Canada. Retrieved 2016-04-04. 
  4. ^ "Habitat Protection and Special Management Areas". Environment Yukon. Archived from the original on 2007-04-26. Retrieved 2007-08-05. 
  5. ^ "Old Crow Flats Special Management Area". New Parks North. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-05. 
  6. ^ "The Annotated Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance - CANADA". Ramsar Convention Bureau. Archived from the original on 2007-07-15. Retrieved 2007-08-05. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Morlan, Richard E. NbVk-1 An Historic Fishing Camp in Old Crow Flats, Northern Yukon Territory. Ottawa: National Museum of Man, National Museums of Canada, 1972.

External sites[edit]

Coordinates: 67°26′28″N 139°49′12″W / 67.441°N 139.82°W / 67.441; -139.82