The presence of rare and superlative natural phenomena — including one of the largest free-roaming, self-regulating bison herds in the world, the only remaining nesting ground of the endangered whooping crane, the biologically rich Peace-Athabasca Delta, extensive salt plains unique in Canada, and some of the finest examples of gypsum karst topography in North America — led to the park's designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.
Wetlands of International Significance
In 1982, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) recognized that Wood Buffalo protected two wetland areas of international significance — the Peace-Athabasca Delta and the whooping crane nesting area. These areas were designated as Ramsar sites — a designation by the Ramsar Convention which focuses on identification and protection of critical habitat for migratory birds. Wood Buffalo is the only national park in Canada with two designated Ramsar sites.