Wapusk National Park
|Wapusk National Parks|
Cape Churchill in summertime
|Area||11,475 km2 (4,431 sq mi)|
|Governing body||Parks Canada|
|Website||Wapusk National Park|
Wapusk National Park is Canada's 37th national park, established in 1996. The park is located in the Hudson Plains ecozone, 45 kilometres (28 mi) south of Churchill in north-east Manitoba, Canada, on the shores of Hudson Bay. Access to the park is limited due to its remote location and an effort to preserve the park. The name comes from the Cree word for polar bear (wâpask). The Park is also home to Cape Churchill, which is renowned as the best location in the world to view and photograph wild polar bears. The only way people can access Cape Churchill is by helicopter or Tundra Buggy.
Wapusk is the Cree word for "white bear", and as the meaning indicates, the 11,475-square-kilometre (4,430 sq mi) park protects one of the world's largest known polar bear maternity denning areas. It includes a large part of the Hudson Bay Lowlands, a subarctic region bordering Hudson Bay that is mostly muskeg and wet peatlands. It is one of the wildest and most remote of Canadian landscapes.
Numerous birds are found in the Wapusk National Park and it is a likely breeding area of the short-billed dowitcher. The Wapusk National Park is a significant maternity denning area for the polar bear, Ursus maritimus.
In a 2010 report biologists affiliated with the American Museum of Natural History and City College of the City University of New York have prepared a new report published in Canadian Field Naturalist that offers the first documented evidence the temperamental grizzly bears are migrating into polar bear territory. Researchers found that seven grizzlies have been spotted in Wapusk National Park south of Churchill, between 2003 and 2008.
This national park is home to animals such as polar bears, great grey owls, timber wolves, lemmings, ivory gulls, arctic foxes, peregrine falcons, snowshoe hares, red foxes, moose, wolverines, Caspian terns, and a herd of 3 000 Cape Churchill caribou.
- "Search Results for: wâpask". Online Cree Dictionary. Retrieved 2012-07-08.
- Wells, Jeffrey Vance (2007). Birder's Conservation Handbook: 100 North American Birds at Risk. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 9780691123226. OCLC 124031808.
- Hogan, C Michael (2008-11-18). "Polar Bear: Ursus maritimus". GlobalTwitcher. Retrieved 2012-07-08.
- Walton, Doreen (2010-02-24). "Grizzlies encroach on polar bear territory". BBC News. Retrieved 2012-07-08.
- "Grizzly Bears Move Into Polar Bear Habitat in Manitoba, Canada". Science Daily. 2010-02-23. Retrieved 2012-07-08.
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