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Wood Buffalo National Park of Canada

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The aurora borealis over Wood Buffalo NP

The aurora borealis over Wood Buffalo NP

aurora borealis
© Parks Canada / John McKinnon

 

2011 Whooping Crane Research

Whooping Crane Research

3 cranes in field
Whooping Cranes
© Parks Canada


World's Largest Beaver Dam at Home in Canada's Largest National Park

Beaver Dam in Wood Buffalo World's Largest Beaver Dam at Home in Canada's Largest National Park
© Parks Canada

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Wood Buffalo National Park of Canada where everything is done on a grand scale. As the largest park in Canada's system of National Parks and the 2nd largest protected area in the world, at 44, 807 square kilometres, it likes to think big. Home to the largest land mammal native to North America - a herd of 5000 Wood Bison, birthplace to North America's largest bird - the Whooping Crane, this vast park contains one of the largest inland fresh water delta ecosystems in the world - the Peace Athabasca Delta and now it boasts the largest beaver dam in the world.

Is it any wonder that this spectacular park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its vastness and wilderness?

Spotted by a researcher looking at satellite images for beaver dams this structure existed in the park without anyone's knowledge for many years. When the park received a call from a BBC film crew, who had discovered the web page created by the researcher, they wanted to film this feature. Park staff were caught by surprise. You may wonder how park staff could miss the world's largest beaver dam but you need to remember the park is larger than the country of Switzerland and being a wilderness park there are few roads and trails. The area the beavers have chosen is incredibly remote and undisturbed. It is positioned in prime wetlands between the Birch Mountain highlands and the Peace Athabasca Delta. The run-off from the highlands provides the beavers with lots of water and the dense boreal forest provides them with plenty of food and wood to build the dam and lodges.

Wood Buffalo National Park staff have flown over the location but because of its dense forest cover they have been unable to land and do a physical survey of the dam. We are pleased to share these images with you so you too can experience this unique natural feature.

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