WILDLIFE OF CANADA
The extraordinary nature of Canada attracts a huge number of tourists. In the northern hemisphere, it is very rare to find the almost virgin nature bordering with modern cities. About 10% of Canada is still uninhabitable. Canadians are proud of their nature and protect it. There are many rare species of plants and animals in Canada. The most famous is the beaver.
Beaver is one of the national symbols of Canada, along with the maple leaf and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Most of Canada’s territory has been explored thanks to the beavers. Why? Hats made of beaver fur were very fashionable in 1600 -1700 in Europe. Thousands of Europeans went to Canada to trade furs and arrange trading posts. In the 19th century, approximately 100,000 beaver skins were exported annually to Europe. Fortunately, the fashion is changeable, and the beavers were not exterminated. In 1863, the largest Canadian company The Hudson`s Bay Company placed the image of a beaver on its coat of arms. In 1851, a stamp with a picture of a beaver was first published. Finally, in 1975 the beaver was officially recognized as the national symbol of Canada.
The biggest and the most dangerous animal in Canada is a bear. Several kinds of bears live in Canada, as for example the grizzly bear, the brown bear, the black bear and the polar white bear. The Grizzly bear is considered the most aggressive and dangerous. It can be easily identified by its appearance – brown fur with whitish tips and a hump on its back. Grizzlies live in the north-west of Canada. A brown bear is smaller than grizzly and it can be found close to the Pacific coast. The American black bear can be found throughout Canada. The Polar White Bear is a rare animal, protected by the state. The weight of this giant reaches 680 kg. It may be found either in a zoo or in the far north (Churchill, province of Manitoba).
Overall, Canada’s fauna is quite rich. Many fur-bearing animals, such as sable, polar fox, marten, weasel, mink, and wolverine, inhabit Canadian forests. Among the carnivores, there are lynx, wolf, coyote, fox. In the southern part of the country several subtypes of Virginia deer, mule deer, that is typical for British Canada and pronghorn antelope may be found.
In the north and west of the country, there are elks, bison, musk ox, arctic caribous and woodland caribous. The mountains of British Canada hosts many bighorns (bighorn sheeps) and wild gray cats that are unique in Canada. Raccoons, porcupines and skunks are well known to visitors of zoos, though very few people know that these are typical inhabitants of the Canadian city parks. Whale Watching is another type of tourist attraction in Canada. Whales can be seen along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, as well as at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River.
Canada hosts about 500 species of birds. A loon is beautiful northern bird. It is depicted on the Canadian one-dollar coin. It build its nests almost all over Canada, Alaska, Greenland and Iceland. The great blue heron is one of the largest Canadian birds. It is interesting to listen as it imitates other birds. Finally, the Canadian wild goose. This bird inhabits almost the whole territory of Canada.
The best place to observe the wildlife of Canada are national parks. There are 37 National Parks and 129 National Historical Sites in Canada that include forts, battlefields, settlements of North American pioneers and much more. Canadian Cordillera parks are undoubtedly the most famous of all. The most famous sight is the Indian village Haida Indian Village of Ninstints. Aborigines have lived in this area more than 2000 years ago, as evidenced by the totem pole found on this site. The language of Haida people is unique and has still not been deciphered until the end. The nature of the West Coast is best explored in the Pacific Rim National Park on Vancouver Island.
The climate of this place is mild and humid, favorable for rainforest growth, relaxing and surfing. Cape Breton Highlands National Park is best known as a popular place for cyclists and racers thanks to the most famous highway in Canada – Cabot Trail. The Wood Buffalo National Park was established to preserve bison and their habitat. The area of this park is bigger than Switzerland, and the number of bison reaches 6000. The Auyuittuq National Park is the only National Park, which is located above the Arctic Circle. Here tourists can take dog sledding tours and visit the Inuit (Eskimo) village. There is also a huge number of provincial parks in Canada. The most famous is he Algonquin Provincial Park, which is located 300 kilometers north of Toronto (province of Ontario). The park has a huge number of lakes and rivers. It is an ideal place for an out-of-town recreation.
Canadians love their nature and it influences not only the everyday life but also Canada’s contemporary art.