One of the world’s largest groups of conservation scientists says Canada’s biggest national park is among the most threatened World Heritage Sites in North America.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature says Wood Buffalo National Park, which straddles the Alberta-Northwest Territories boundary, is significantly threatened by hydroelectric and oilsands development.
“This is quite embarrassing,” said Melody Lepine of the Mikisew Cree First Nation, many of whose members live alongside the park.
“It’s not looking good for Canada avoiding an endangered listing for Wood Buffalo.”
Wood Buffalo is a vast stretch of grassland, forest, wetland and lakes. Its 45,000 square kilometres contain one of the world’s largest freshwater deltas, uncountable flocks of waterfowl and songbirds, as well as ecological cycles and relationships that remain in their natural state.
It’s also the nesting site for the last (naturally occurring) flock of endangered whooping cranes.