The Aulavik National Park is located in Canada. It is located on Banks Island in the Northwest Territories. The Aulavik National Park was established in 1992. The Thomsen River made him particularly well known. This is one of the northernmost rivers in North America and is also navigable.
Another special feature of the national park is that it is absolutely treeless. There is not a single tree on the entire park area of 12,274 square kilometers. Aulavik National Park is at the northern end of Banks Island. It consists of an arctic plain and therefore does not allow any tree growth. The best way to get to the area is by plane, there are four landing sites available for landing.
In terms of landscape, Aulavik is a polar desert. Strong winds often prevail here. An average of 300mm of rain falls here per year.
The animals of the Aulavik National Park
The world’s largest population of musk ox lives here in this area. This is around 68,000 to 80,000 animals. About 20 percent of them live in the national park.
In addition to the musk ox, the endangered reindeer species Peary caribou and Greenland reindeer live in Auvalik National Park.
Since there are no trees, very few birds live here. Only about 43 different species of birds are sighted throughout the year. Of these, only two species of birds remain throughout the year. These are the Ptarmigan and the Raven.
Nevertheless, snowy owls and buzzards can also be found here. The gyrfalcon and the peregrine falcon can also be spotted here. Brown lemmings and northern collar lemmings share the national park with wolves, arctic foxes and arctic hares.
In Sea Beluga whales frolic and share the habitat with polar bears and seals that live along the coast.
The park and its history
The name comes from the Inuvialuktun and translated in German means “A place where people travel”. This is certainly due to the Thomson River, because it is navigable and therefore also a traffic route for people. Early on, the Thomson River gave people in this area a chance to feed themselves. The Inuit who lived here came to the river to fish and to kill animals that came to drink.
By the 1930s, the Muskox was almost extinct. Of the peoples living in the park, this species was the most commonly hunted. Hunters, scouts and whalers slaughtered the animals en masse. But these animals were protected and so one could reach a proud population of about 80,000 from the last surviving Muskox.
In terms of landscape, the park does not have any trees, but you will find large, seemingly endless pastures with tundra grasses. The sparse vegetation allows a very wide view. But you shouldn’t think of the park as a wasteland on which nothing thrives. But on the contrary. An enormous variety of flowers can be found here during the flowering period. The colorful representatives of nature are a breathtaking sight. In total, over 150 different types of flowers thrive here. They grow in a cycle of around 10 weeks.
In addition, there are 230 archaeological and scientific excavation sites in the park. Some of these can also be viewed.