This spectacular landscape is also a lens through which to view Canada’s conservation challenge
Sam Hunter was not prepared for what he saw one morning this past July when he stepped out of his cabin near the shore of Hudson Bay. It was a living tide of caribou – more than 3,000 large animals moving, grunting, foraging and otherwise fully occupying the landscape.
“There were so many. … They were so loud,” said Mr. Hunter, who lives in Peawanuck on northern Ontario’s Winisk River and has worked as a guide in the area for years. “It’s something that I haven’t seen since I was about 10 years old.” The timing could not have been better.
Mr. Hunter, who is a member of the Weenusk First Nation, had brought with him a team from the Wildlands League, a Toronto-based conservation group. They were there to record the vibrant ecosystem at the province’s northern rim, part of an effort to designate a vast new national marine conservation area there. Everyone grabbed their cameras and began recording the spectacle.
Anna Baggio, conservation director for the Wildlands League, said the unexpected “caribou-palooza” reminded her of a giant family party, with relatives from far and wide gathering for the big meet-up. But the experience also left her with another, more potent thought.
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