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Wapusk National Park of Canada

Parks Canada Receives Award for Conservation Work in Wapusk National Park

The Honourable Peter Kent, Canada’s Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, accepts the Champion of Polar Bears award from Carolyn Buchanan, co-founder of Polar Bears International Inc. (PBI), for Parks Canada’s work to conserve critical polar bear habitat in Wapusk National Park. The Honourable Peter Kent, Canada’s Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada (second from right), accepts the Champion of Polar Bears award from Carolyn Buchanan (second from left), co-founder of Polar Bears International Inc. (PBI), for Parks Canada’s work to conserve critical polar bear habitat in Wapusk National Park. Also in the photo are Marilyn Peckett (left), Superintendent of the Manitoba Field Unit of Parks Canada, and Robert Buchanan (right), co-founder of PBI.
© Parks Canada

Wapusk News - Volume 6, 2013

What makes a champion? It isn’t the glory of goals scored, overtime drama or trophies hoisted high; rather, it is hard work, dedication and perseverance.

These are the qualities that have made Parks Canada a conservation leader, and it was for leadership in protecting polar bear habitat in Wapusk National Park that Parks Canada was honoured with a Champion of Polar Bears award by Polar Bears International Inc. (PBI). PBI co-founders Carolyn and Robert Buchanan presented the Honourable Peter Kent, Canada’s Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, with PBI’s highest honour in a ceremony at the Toronto Zoo on February 21, 2013.

“For the past 15 years Parks Canada has played a worldwide role in polar bear conservation through research and monitoring, education, and conservation in Wapusk National Park,” Carolyn Buchanan said in presenting the award. “The scientific data gathered and its analysis, along with the park’s extensive educational programs, have allowed Canada’s most iconic species to be better understood throughout the world.”

“The Government of Canada is proud to receive the Champion of Polar Bears award from Polar Bears International in recognition of Parks Canada’s work to conserve polar bears and their habitat in Wapusk National Park,” said Minister Kent in a press release issued for the presentation ceremony. “Wapusk National Park includes one of the largest known concentrations of polar bear maternity denning habitat in the world and is a tremendous example of what Parks Canada does each and every day on behalf of Canadians at all of our parks and sites.”

Within the park, Parks Canada works with research partners to learn about the park’s ecology; manages human activity to limit the impact on its ecological integrity; and monitors the impacts of stressors, such as climate change and overgrazing by lesser snow geese, on the local ecosystems. PBI is committed to supporting the protection of polar bears in the Churchill region and beyond. Parks Canada and PBI have enjoyed a longstanding collaboration on a variety of activities, including the annual PBI Youth Leadership Camp and an explore.org polar bear webcam situated at Cape Churchill.