Due to Canada’s diverse range of terrain from coast to coast, many tourists flock to the vast North American country to witness some of the world’s most amazing ecosystems both on land and out to sea. Due to Canada’s harsh winter climates, many of these animals, such as bison, moose and elk are some of the biggest and most impressive in the world. Here is a quick guide to Canada’s wildlife hotspots to help you plan your journey to North America.
The small town of Churchill in Hudson Bay on the west coast of Canada is also known as the ‘Polar Bear Capital of the World’. Every year, hundreds of bears populate by the bay to wait for the waters to freeze in order to hunt seal – the best time to catch this migration is during the autumn months. Beluga whales and more than 270 bird species can also be found in the area alongside an occasional sighting of the Aurora Borealis, otherwise known at the Northern Lights.
This awe-inspiring national park in Newfoundland and Labrador has an impressive area of 9,600km2. Today, 13 out of the world’s 19 populations of polar bears can be found in Canada – the Torngat Mountains National Park is one of them. The national park, with its mountains, forests and glaciers, is a natural paradise and a place of tradition. Due to its remote location, only experienced campers should seek an adventure here. Alongside polar bears, caribou can also be seen at Torngat.
Stick to Canada’s east coast to find this little whale watching gem. Many tourists like to stray from the larger cities of Quebec City, Montreal and hotels in Niagara Falls further inland to witness some of the world’s most majestic creatures out to sea. One of the most spectacular species to be found at Gaspe Bay is the Humpback whale, although 13 species of whale can be found along the St. Lawrence River including belugas and the largest of them all – blue whales. Peak whale watching season at Gaspe Bay is from May through to October.
Banff National Park in the province of Alberta in the Rocky Mountains is Canada’s oldest national park. 56 species of mammal have been recorded across its mountain ranges, ice fields, dense forests and alpine scenes including grizzly bears and black bears, mule deer and marmots, cougars and wolverines. Because of its harsh winter climate, mammals are the most successful group here while reptiles are seldom seen. The Byrant Creek area is a particularly good spot for bear watching.
Whilst in the Alberta region, why not drive to Jasper National Park’s Maligne Lake – one of the most photographs spots in the world. Here you will find Spirit Island surrounded by the lake’s stunning cerulean blue lake. Fishing and kayaking are popular here alongside some brilliant wildlife watching. Sightings of moose, mule, black bears and deer are frequent.