Tundra animals of the Canadian Arctic are fascinating. How do species handle to thrive in excessive circumstances reaching temperatures of minus 50 levels?
We have been fortunate sufficient to journey to the Arctic a couple of instances and we have additionally had the privilege of visiting some fairly particular wildlife sanctuaries to stand up shut and private with tundra animals that always stay elusive and onerous to see.
We have had the privilege of witnessing polar bears on The Hudson Bay twice with Churchill Wild. As soon as in the summertime at Nanuk Lodge and as soon as within the winter at Seal River Lodge.
However there’s much more to see than simply polar bears, the Arctic is alive with animals scurrying round.
If you cannot make to Churchill, Manitoba a go to to Parc Omega in Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours in Quebec is a should. The animals we did not see on the Tundra live in a sanctuary simply north of Montreal.
It was combining our newest journeys to the north that we actually bought to know the animals of the Arctic tundra and witness them frolicking of their pure habitat.
It was our second polar bear safari with Churchill Wild. Our first took us to the shores of the Hudson Bay in the summertime the place we witnessed mom’s and cubs stress-free within the balmy climate.
Throughout our every day walks round Seal River Lodge, the Arctic panorama was stuffed with life.
Arctic foxes performed on the frozen bay and ran across the lodge prefer it was their very own personal headquarters.
Arctic hares frolicked by the airplane runway and surprisingly, ravens thrived within the -40-degree climate we had been experiencing.
When occurring an arctic expedition or polar bear safari, it is simply as thrilling as an African safari, however there’s much more to organize for.
The way to Gown for an Arctic Safari
Dressing correctly is a should. Fortunately, Churchill Wild provides winter gear climate for many who do not wish to drop $1500 on an arctic parka for a one-off safari.
They lease a parka, snow pants and winter boots. Every thing must be rated to 50 beneath!
You’ll want to deliver hand and toe heaters and you should definitely layer.
Learn our Layering Tricks to beat the deep freeze to see pack for a visit to the Tundra in winter.
A balaclava is a should and ski goggles will maintain your face hotter than sun shades.
The Hudson Bay froze early this yr and what’s usually a legendary spot known as the Polar Bear Freeway, was empty of any signal of life save for one lonely bear in strolling away from us within the distance.
That is okay although, polar bears have been struggling over time because of local weather change, and the early freeze means they had been capable of get out on the ice early to start out looking.
After we talked with the polar bear consultants on the Assiniboine Zoo in Manitoba, they informed us the thaw was a superb factor.
It means they in all probability would not get any orphaned polar bear cubs for the reason that bears on the tundra had been wholesome and looking this yr.
For us, it meant we missed the polar bear visitors by two weeks, however for others, it meant they noticed greater than they anticipated.
However occurring an arctic safari is not all concerning the polar bears.
The Arctic tundra is stuffed with life. It’s wonderful how animals can survive excessive circumstances. They adapt to extreme chilly and thrive in balmy summers.
We hope you get pleasure from this picture essay of tundra animals from the Canadian Arctic.
We noticed plenty of Ptarmigan throughout our walks with Churchill Wild. Every time the wildlife was scarce, our guides would take us over to the shrubs the place the flock was hanging out.
We might get fairly shut to those members of the grouse household who had their white winter plumage on show.
Enjoyable truth, in the summertime, these beauties are brown to combine with the tundra.
Parc Omega Quebec
Whereas exploring Ottawa in winter, we took a detour to Parc Omega in Quebec. It is only a 50-minute drive from Ottawa or 30 minutes from Montreal.
We had been greeted by our information Serge Lussier who makes a speciality of conservation.
He has labored with the gorillas in Rwanda, Pandas in China and has numerous credentials in wildlife and zoo administration together with being the present director of Canadian Affiliation of Accredited Zoos and Aquariums.
Proper now he’s again residence in Quebec working as a guide for Parc Omega. We had been honoured to have him as our information for the day.
One thing we cherished about Parc Omega in Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours is the way it has recreated the Arctic panorama.
Serge helped to design plenty of the habitat inside the park. He mentioned that he would not deliver an arctic animal to Parc Omega in the event that they did not have the habitat for them.
The mountain goats we noticed had been new to the park. They had been perched atop a excessive rocky hill and appeared proper at residence. Since mountain goats usually dwell at excessive altitudes, it is a good different for them to dwell out their days.
Now we have needed to see Caribou of the Arctic for years. We noticed the Woodland Caribou on the slate islands of Lake Superior in Ontario, however after three journeys to the Arctic, we have not had plenty of luck with caribou.
We noticed one on the Dempster Freeway however when visiting northern Manitoba, the remainder of the Yukon and Northwest Territories, we have not seen them.
Parc Omega has a herd of caribou that we might watch from the consolation of our truck.
Often called reindeer in Europe, Caribou are native to northern Canada, Northern Europe and Siberia.
Whereas up in Churchill, Nationwide Geographic had a group at our lodge filming the arctic fox. They’re quick creatures that scurry about and we had a tough time capturing a shot.
Particularly since NatGeo had cornered the market on the most effective spot to observe them!
So once we visited Parc Omega, we had been thrilled to see a skulk of Arctic foxes stress-free on a hill.
We had been fortunate to be out early within the morning after they had been most lively as a result of when Dave and I drove again afterward our personal, they had been burrowed away someplace quick asleep for the afternoon.
It was our first time seeing an arctic wolf. Now we have seen wolves earlier than, however by no means have we witnessed the attractive coats of the Arctic wolf.
The coats are white year-round permitting them to mix with the snow and so they feed on caribou and arctic hare.
When visiting Hershel Island within the Yukon, we noticed one Muskox within the distance.
Our information took us on a hike to the hill with hopes that we might see extra or get a more in-depth view, however alas, we by no means did get a greater view.
However Parc Omega has a Musk Ox and we lastly noticed a pair munching away of their corral.
I typically combine up elk with caribou or deer. However an elk is way bigger than each.
The elk is said to the deer however extra majestic.
When visiting Parc Omega, the elk had been simply beginning to shed their antlers, however we managed to seize one that also had them intact.
Elk shed antlers yearly. They fall off in winter and develop anew within the spring. By the top of summer season, they’re absolutely grown and the velvet overlaying the antlers is rubbed off by fall.
And there you’ve it. These are the Tundra animals now we have seen from varied journeys to Northern Canada and Quebec sanctuaries.
Canada is an incredible place for recognizing wildlife.
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