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Auyuittuq National Park of Canada

Polar Bears and other wildlife

Polar bears may be encountered at any time of the year, anywhere in Auyuittuq National Park, even on glaciers. See the Safety in Polar Bear Country pamphlet and read carefully and take the necessary precautions if you choose to travel in polar bear country.

Polar Bear © Elizabeth Seale

In the park, polar bears are most active in and along the coast of Davis Strait, including North Pangnirtung Fiord. In March and April, females with new cubs are emerging from their winter dens. Male bears are also active along the fiords at this time. You must also be cautious from August to November when sea ice is gone and bears are forced ashore. Do not camp or linger on the coast.

Because of the very real risk of meeting a polar bear when travelling on North Pangnirtung Fiord in March and April, we strongly recommend that you hire an outfitter to take you to the park boundary if you are beginning your trip in Qikiqtarjuaq (Broughton Island). If you travel by outfitter dog team, you will minimize your chances of meeting a bear still further; the dogs will alert you to polar bear presence. This method of travel will also give you an unforgettable introduction to your trip!

Report polar bear encounters, sightings, tracks and signs to Parks Canada staff as soon as possible. Use a radio or satellite phone if possible.

Other Wildlife Hazards

More than one mountaineering party has looked back towards camp from a high vantage point - and spotted a flock of ravens tearing their food cache apart. A food cache left unattended can be destroyed in less than a day by foxes, weasels or ravens. This is a hazard that many people do not consider, but it has ruined more than one expedition.