Prince Albert National


One of the last free-roaming herds of great wild plains bison grazes over its original range in Prince Albert National Park, wilderness home as well to 10,000 white pelicans, endangered woodland caribou, wolves, lynx, black bears, and 235 bird species. Established to preserve diminishing southern prairie adjoining northern coniferous boreal woods in central Canada, it is a diverse habitat mosaic of spruce bogs, sedge meadows, aspen uplands, fescue grasslands, and more than 1,500 lakes in one of the few North American parks with an intact balance of predators, herbivores, and furbearers.

Fishers, three-toed woodpeckers, and great gray owls increasingly rare elsewhere are still comfortably numerous here along with elk, badgers, barred owls, spruce and sharp-tailed groause, bald eagles.

Moose browse on red osier. Ospreys fish for brook trout. Wolves howl at Rendezvous Ridge. Baybreasted and Blackburnian warblers nest high in intricate bowls of fine grass and spider silk.

Prince Albert was final home and resting place of famed writer/conservationist/adopted Ojibway Indian Gray Owl, whose cabin incorporating a beaver lodge remains part of the natural world where he found and urged on others “enrichment other than material prosperity.”

 Massive American bison or buffalo once formed the largest mass of animals ever to roam the earth—an estimated 60 million of them, bearded bulls with high humped shoulders and short, sharp upcurved horns standing six feet (2 m) at the shoulder, weighing more than a ton, running 30 miles an hour (48 kph). Within a few decades wild populations were almost gone, many lost to drive-by “sport” shooting by railroad car passengers, their bodies left to rot on the prairie. Luckily a remnant herd was saved and a reserve set aside for them, and they thrive now in Prince Albert National Park and elsewhere.

Massive American bison or buffalo once formed the largest mass of animals ever to roam the earth—an estimated 60 million of them, bearded bulls with high humped shoulders and short, sharp upcurved horns standing six feet (2 m) at the shoulder, weighing more than a ton, running 30 miles an hour (48 kph). Within a few decades wild populations were almost gone, many lost to drive-by “sport” shooting by railroad car passengers, their bodies left to rot on the prairie. Luckily a remnant herd was saved and a reserve set aside for them, and they thrive now in Prince Albert National Park and elsewhere.

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