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Southampton Plains


Natural Region 28

WILDLIFE:

Most of the mammals living here - arctic hare, lemmings, short-tailed weasel, arctic fox, polar bear and caribou - are species characteristic of the Arctic. Caribou and wolves were killed off on Southampton Island in the 1950s. However, caribou have been reintroduced and are thriving.

Walrus
Walrus
© Parks Canada
  

The large walrus population which frequent the surrounding marine waters find important haul out grounds throughout the region. Shorebirds and waterfowl are abundant along the wet coastal meadows and tidal flats.

Some of Canada's largest colonies of snow geese and Canada geese, along with the rare Ross's goose, nest in the rich sedge meadows of the Boas River Delta. Southampton Island is home to a nesting area of over 300,000 snow geese. Large colonies of thick-billed murres are found on Coats Island, one of the large offshore islands in Hudson Bay.

STATUS OF NATIONAL PARKS:

No national park has been established yet in this region. A study completed in 1981 identified several possible areas for consideration.

However, following negotiation of Inuit land selections under the Nunavut land claim, large portions of all of those areas became Inuit land. Further studies might identify alternative areas but to be truly representative, a national park in this region would need a reasonable amount of coast line, most of which is Inuit settlement land.

   Natural Region 28
Natural Region 28
© Parks Canada

Any national park established here would have to take into consideration the fact that hunting, trapping and fishing, the traditional land uses of the Arctic, are still carried on in this region. Seals, walrus, beluga, polar bear and caribou are the main species hunted; trapping for arctic fox provides income for many residents.

Parks Canada is watching with interest discussions between the Canadian Wildlife Service and local people about the creation of a national wildlife area on Coats Island, one of the primary representative areas identified in Parks Canada's 1981 study.

The large walrus population which frequent the surrounding marine waters find important haul out grounds throughout the region. Shorebirds and waterfowl are abundant along the wet coastal meadows and tidal flats. Some of Canada's largest colonies of snow geese and Canada geese, along with the rare Ross's goose, nest in the rich sedge meadows of the Boas River Delta. Southampton Island is home to a nesting area of over 300,000 snow geese. Large colonies of thick-billed murres are found on Coats Island, one of the large offshore islands in Hudson Bay.

The following table summarizes the status of system planning for each step toward establishing a new national park in this natural region.

Steps in the Park Establishment Process
Representative Natural Areas Identified:
Potential Park Area Selected:
Park Feasibility Assessed:
Park Agreement Signed:
Scheduled under the National Parks Act:

Status
requires updating
0
0
0
0


National Parks System Plan, 3rd Edition

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