The Wildlife

The Yukon North Slope continues to be home to healthy, diverse wildlife populations, from ukalliq (snowshoe hare) to akłaq (grizzly bear). It is important to ensure all species, big and small, have the room and protection they need to thrive for many generations to come. Our report on Aklavik Inuvialuit knowledge of wildlife on the North Slope describes the biology of many important birds and mammals.

In recent years, our Council has focused efforts on a few key species, whose conservation will help ensure the health of many other species. Explore our work on these animals below or take a video tour of wildlife in Ivvavik National Park to see who calls this place home!

Akłaq - Grizzly Bear

Grizzlies can be found throughout most of the Yukon North Slope. They require large tracts of connected land in order to thrive, making them an excellent umbrella species - if grizzly bears are doing well, then likely many other species are, too. 

Our Grizzly Bear Work

Nanuq - Polar Bear

Unlike grizzly bear, nanuq is considered a marine animal, spending much of its time on the sea ice or swimming. As the Arctic environment, including sea ice, continues to change, it is increasingly important that we understand how polar bears interact with and adapt to their world, which is why they are a focal species for our Council.

Our Polar Bear Work

Tuktu - Barren Ground Caribou

Tuktu, particularly the Porcupine Caribou Herd, are central to the North Slope ecosystem in so many ways, including the culture and traditions of Inuvialuit. With their incredible migration, they bring nutrients and life to the landscape, feeding everything from grasses and shrubs to larger predators, such as wolves and grizzly bears, as well as people. 

Our Caribou Work

Umingmak - Muskox

Muskox live on the North Slope all year round. While they do not migrate like neighbouring barren ground caribou, they do make seasonal movements to take advantage of different types of food throughout the year. Muskox have historically existed in the region, but disappeared in the mid-1800s; they were reintroduced 100 years later, resulting in the population we see today. 

Our Muskox Work

Who Lives Here?

Explore the wildlife of the Yukon North Slope through the Parks Canada camera trap network! These remote cameras have been installed in over 30 locations throughout Ivvavik National Park to help us understand more about how animals live and what they need to thrive. How many species were caught on camera?

More Information About North Slope Wildlife

To explore fact sheets, management plans, and other information about the full diversity of Yukon North Slope Wildlife, check out our Resource Library.