Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Canada's 'Yellowstone' Too Small For Wildlife, Report Finds

Date:
July 5, 2006
Source:
Wildlife Conservation Society
Summary:
A new scientific report by the Wildlife Conservation Society, a 110-year-old science-based conservation organization, says that Northwest Territories' Nahanni National Park Reserve -- one of Canada's most beloved and storied national parks -- is too small to maintain its nearly pristine population of grizzly bears, caribou and Dall's sheep.

A grizzly bear in Canada's Nahanni National Park Reserve.
Credit: Image courtesy of Wildlife Conservation Society; photo credit: D. Shapiro

A new scientific report by the Wildlife Conservation Society, a 110-year-old science-based conservation organization, says that Northwest Territories' Nahanni National Park Reserve – one of Canada's most beloved and storied national parks – is too small to maintain its nearly pristine population of grizzly bears, caribou and Dall's sheep.

Related Articles


According to the report, which looked at more than four years of WCS field data, the park needs to expand from its current size of under 5,000 square kilometers, to include the entire South Nahanni River watershed and the adjacent Nahanni Karstlands, an area totaling more than 38,000 square kilometers – four times larger than Yellowstone National Park.

The report's author, Dr. John Weaver of the Wildlife Conservation Society, said that the park's current narrow boundaries are too small to contain grizzlies, caribou and Dall's sheep, all of which occupy much larger ranges than the park currently provides. He cautions that without expanding the boundaries, these species will decline due to development pressures looming outside of the park.

"Unfortunately, wildlife do not recognize park boundaries, and this is particularly true in the case of Nahanni National Park Reserve" said Weaver, who has studied North American wildlife for more than three decades. "If we don't protect the full range of Nahanni's populations of grizzlies, caribou, and Dall's sheep, then those species are in trouble."

Weaver's research showed that the Nahanni's woodland caribou, for example, frequently travel over long distances outside of the park, and need unbroken boreal wilderness to survive. Currently, key seasonal areas for caribou lie outside of the park.

Nahanni's grizzly bear population, according to the report, contains some of the highest genetic diversity of any other grizzly population in North America, revealing a nearly pristine population of these large carnivores. Weaver also discovered new populations of Dall's sheep during his field research that feed in a unique habitat – lush grasses outside of a concentration of karst caves found no where else on the continent. But again, the area lies outside of the current national park. (more)

"We welcome the release of this study by John Weaver who is internationally respected as a wildlife biologist," says Daryl Sexsmith, executive director of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society's (CPAWS) NWT chapter. CPAWS has been advocating for expansion of the Nahanni National Park Reserve to protect the entire South Nahanni watershed for the past five years, working closely with the local Dehcho First Nations.

Besides the unique concentration of karst caves, the region also contains the deepest river canyons anywhere in Canada, which resemble sections of the Grand Canyon. It also contains large hot-springs mounds that are similar to Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park. And Virginia Falls in the center of the Park Reserve are twice as high as Niagara Falls. The United Nations (UNESCO) recognized Nahanni National Park Reserve as the first World Heritage Site.

Yet, according to the report, major industrial developments across the Mackenzie River basin, including oil and gas development and mining, are imminent, so the need to address the problem of the Park's inadequate boundaries is now.

"Canada has a unique opportunity to create one of the largest and most wild national parks in the world," said Weaver.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wildlife Conservation Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wildlife Conservation Society. "Canada's 'Yellowstone' Too Small For Wildlife, Report Finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 July 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/07/060705182614.htm>.
Wildlife Conservation Society. (2006, July 5). Canada's 'Yellowstone' Too Small For Wildlife, Report Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/07/060705182614.htm
Wildlife Conservation Society. "Canada's 'Yellowstone' Too Small For Wildlife, Report Finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/07/060705182614.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Millions of monarch butterflies begin to descend onto Mexico as part of their annual migration south. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Newsy (Dec. 19, 2014) A new study suggests a certain type of bird was able to sense a tornado outbreak that moved through the U.S. a day before it hit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins