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Wapusk National Park

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Title: Wapusk National Park  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: List of National Parks of Canada, Maternity den, Breeding in the wild, Geography of Manitoba, Ivvavik National Park
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Wapusk National Park

Wapusk National Parks
IUCN category II (national park)
Polar Bear at Cape Churchill in Wapusk National Park
Map showing the location of Wapusk National Parks
Wapusk National Parks
Location of Wapusk National Park in Canada
Location Manitoba, Canada
Nearest city Churchill
Area 11,475 square kilometres (4,430 sq mi)
Established 1996 (1996)
Governing body Parks Canada
Website Wapusk National Park

Wapusk National Park is Canada's 37th national park, established in 1996. The park is located in the Hudson Plains ecozone, 45 kilometres (28 mi) south of Churchill in north-east Manitoba, Canada, on the shores of Hudson Bay. Access to the park is limited due to its remote location and an effort to preserve the park. The name comes from the Cree word for polar bear (wâpask).[1] The Park is also home to Cape Churchill, which is renowned as the best location in the world to view and photograph wild polar bears. The only way people can access Cape Churchill is by helicopter or Tundra Buggy.

The park was the subject of a short film in 2011's National Parks Project, directed by Hubert Davis and scored by Kathleen Edwards, Matt Mays and Sam Roberts.

Hudson Bay shoreline


Wapusk is the Cree word for "white bear", and as the meaning indicates, the 11,475-square-kilometre (4,430 sq mi) park protects one of the world's largest known polar bear maternity denning areas. It includes a large part of the Hudson Bay Lowlands, a subarctic region bordering Hudson Bay that is mostly muskeg and wet peatlands. It is one of the wildest and most remote of Canadian landscapes.

Numerous birds are found in the Wapusk National Park and it is a likely breeding area of the Short-billed Dowitcher.[2] The Wapusk National Park is a significant maternity denning area for the Polar Bear, Ursus maritimus.[3]

In a 2010 report biologists affiliated with the American Museum of Natural History and City College of the City University of New York have prepared a new report published in Canadian Field Naturalist that offers the first documented evidence the temperamental Grizzly Bears are migrating into polar bear territory. Researchers found that seven grizzlies have been spotted in Wapusk National Park south of Churchill, between 2003 and 2008.[4][5]



  1. ^ "Search Results for: wâpask". Online Cree Dictionary. Retrieved 2012-07-08. 
  2. ^ Wells, Jeffrey Vance (2007). Birder's Conservation Handbook: 100 North American Birds at Risk. Princeton:  
  3. ^ Hogan, C Michael (2008-11-18). "Polar Bear: Ursus maritimus". GlobalTwitcher. Retrieved 2012-07-08. 
  4. ^ Walton, Doreen (2010-02-24). "Grizzlies encroach on polar bear territory".  
  5. ^ "Grizzly Bears Move Into Polar Bear Habitat in Manitoba, Canada".  

See also

External links

  • Official website
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