Great Canadian Parks / Ontario

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The Parks / Ontario / Pukaskwa National Park



 

Pukaskwa has two main types of environment: the waters of Lake Superior and the rivers that flow into it and the boreal forest with its scant mixing of broad-leafed species. The loon may best symbolize Canada's vast northern waterways, while the boundless lakeside forests are immediately associated with the beaver whose pelt shaped our history through trade and eventual settlement. Wildlife in the park also includes stable populations of snowshoe hare, spruce grouse, lynx and black bear. The survival of the small Woodland Caribou herd is of particular concern since their population has been steadily declining and may at present be as low as six. One of the largest research projects being carried out by the park studies interactions between moose, caribou and wolf and their use of their habitats. 34 moose, 5 caribou and 5 wolves have been radio collared and their movements monitored to determine their preferred habitat and predator/prey interactions. The study has revealed that caribou migrate as far as 70 kilometres outside the protection of the park for as much as 6 months each year, whereas the moose population thrives where development of land clears old forests, thus providing exposed underbrush and regenerated plant growth for grazing. Conversely, any land use that disrupts the caribou's habitat is a threat to the continuation of the herd. Migratory birds such as warblers arrive in summer; ducks and shorebirds may be seen along the beaches and Oiseau is the best location to observe herons nesting in their rookeries.

 

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