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World Heritage: Canada

Ivvavik/Vuntut/Herschel Island (Qikiqtaruk)

Geographical Location:
68° N – 139,5° W

High mountains, boreal forest, tundra and expansive wetlands come together to form the living fabric of the arctic wilderness. This land illustrates the very early human occupation of northwest North America, and the adaptation of Aboriginal cultural traditions to extreme environments.

Ivvavik/Vuntut/Herschel Island (Qikiqtaruk) © Lynch, W.

The, Ivvavik, Vuntut and Herschel Island site is a land rich in wildlife, in variety of landscape and in vegetation. Vuntut National Park of Canada includes part of the Old Crow Flats, a vast area of lakes, ponds, wandering rivers and sodden tundra that is recognized to be of global importance for breeding and migratory waterfowl. The chorus arising from the flats on a spring morning is as unforgettable as the stillness of the flats on a winter night. North of the flats in Ivvavik National Park of Canada lie the Richardson Mountains, home to Dall sheep, moose and among the highest concentrations of grizzly bears known. On the tundra plains bordering the Beaufort Sea, the Porcupine Caribou Herd, one of the largest herds of migratory ungulates in the world, wanders on its seasonal migrations. Herschel Island Territorial Park (Qikiqtaruk) protects a unique combination of natural and human heritage and was Yukon’s first territorial park. The entire area was bypassed by the Pleistocene glaciers, as evidenced by palaeontological and archaeological sites which include some of the best-preserved assemblages of ice-age fauna, and some of the oldest human remains yet discovered in the Western Hemisphere.