Great Canadian Parks / Saskatchewan

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The Parks / Saskatchewan / Prince Albert National Park



 

Prince Albert’s many lakes, streams and marshlands support abundant wildlife and are recognized as being one of the few places left in the world where timber wolves live undisturbed. The park protects badgers, coyotes, black bears, otters, elk, white-tailed deer, moose, loons, hare, foxes, lynx, caribou, osprey and eagles. There are 195 species of birds including the second largest breeding colony in Canada of the rare white pelican. Double-crested cormorants, Canada geese, the great blue heron, hawks, owls, and a high density of breeding dabbling ducks, particularly mallards, shovellers and pintails, inhabit the park.

 


The park’s bison herd has national significance as it represents the only free- ranging population of plains bison in a Canadian national park. In the 1700Ęs, plains bison were estimated to number in the millions. By 1870, they had been all but eliminated primarily as a military strategy to subdue the Indians in the United States who were dependent on them. In 1906, the Canadian government purchased a small herd located on a cattle ranch in Montana for $150 000 and brought them to Elk Island, Alberta. In 1969, fifty plains bison were released north of Prince Albert and of these the six that moved into the protected area founded the present-day herd of 220 individuals.

 

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