Great Canadian Parks / British Columbia

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The Parks / British Columbia / Kootenay National Park




You may see wildlife while driving the parkway or hiking on the many trails. Elk, white- tailed deer, mule deer, mountain goats and bighorn sheep are commonly seen, especially in spring and fall. Less frequently seen are the 6 - 12 grizzlies that reside in the park, the black bear - only 15 - 25 have been recently recorded - and the moose that now benefit from the park’s prescribed burn program. You are more likely to hear the distinctively plaintive howl of one of the remaining 5 - 10 timber wolves, than to actually see one. Mountain goats live high on rocky cliffs where life is harsh. At Mount Wardle, a Special Preservation Zone allows the goats to reach their mineral licks undisturbed. The Bighorn sheep, which inhabit meadows, open forests and steep mountain hillsides, have inspired the creation of Bighorn in Our Back Yard, an organization dedicated to their mandate - to preserve the species in the face of negative human impact. Agencies responsible for the management of the herd have not always worked in a coordinated manner and education of the people living near the parks, on the significance of respecting the sheep’s habitat, has until now not been a major component in the strategies of conservationists. In the fall of 1999, an American multi-millionaire paid the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation over $1 million to allow him to shoot a Bighorn outside Jasper National Park.

 

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