The park lies within the Superior Structural Province of the Precambrian Shield, an
extensive rock type that underlies half of Canada and is comprised of some of the oldest
rocks on earth. A wide range of intrusive and metamorphic rocks form a gently rolling
terrain of rock ridges and shallow lake basins. Granitic bedrock is pervasive throughout
the Wabakimi area.
||Approximately 25% of the park's core area is comprised of exposed bedrock. Often these
smooth gently sloping outcrops provide ideal canoe campsites.
The Boreal Forest
Wabakimi Provincial Park
is situated entirely within the Boreal Forest, a broad belt of coniferous forest that
stretches between the mostly treeless arctic/subarctic region to the north, and the mixed
hardwood-coniferous transition forest of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Forest Region to the
south. The waters of glacial Lake Agassiz have denuded many upland areas, producing
expanses of dry lichen rockscapes which support valuable caribou habitat. Typical boreal
tree species such as black spruce and jackpine, with occasional trembling aspen and white
birch, dominate upland areas, while black spruce and larch vegetate the wet, organic
deposits commonly found in bedrock depressions.
The wildlife species of the park are typical of the Boreal Forest region.
These species include large game animals such as moose, woodland caribou, and bear; as
well as smaller mammals such as snowshoe hare, least chipmunk, red squirrel, lynx, fox,
marten, weasel, timber wolf, beaver, muskrat, otter and mink. Typical bird species include
raven, grey jay, osprey, bald eagle, boreal owl, spruce grouse, common loon, black duck,
common goldeneye, hooded merganser, herring gull, ovenbird and thrushes.
The Woodland Caribou of Wabakimi Provincial Park:
|At one time, woodland caribou enjoyed a broad geographic distribution throughout
Northwestern Ontario and the northern United States.
| Throughout most of the 20th
century, caribou populations declined or were eliminated in the southern portions of their
historic range in Ontario. Today they are found only in scattered herds throughout the
Boreal forest and are considered a vulnerable species.
|An estimated 300 woodland caribou trek the lichen-rich, granite hills of
Wabakimi Provincial Park. Unlike their social, northern cousins, the barren ground
caribou, these elusive woodland species seldom form large groups or herds. Their survival
strategy seems to be based on a pattern of dispersion, with individuals living and
travelling alone or in small groups. Scattered about the hinterlands in such few numbers,
may give each individual caribou a better chance of eluding predators, especially timber
wolves, or possibly lynx and black bear.
are most often observed along lake or river shorelines or when swimming across a lake.
Caribou droppings are black, irregular in shape and about as wide and long as your thumb
nail. Moose droppings are brown, generally spherical in shape and about the size of your
thumb. Caribou calve in the spring and early summer on islands and points on lakes, in
order to avoid predators. Avoid camping on small to medium sized islands (less than about
1 square km) until at least mid-summer, to prevent caribou cows and calves from being
frightened onto the mainland. Although elusive and seldom seen, these animals and their
habitat are worthy of the highest respect.
The staff of Wabakimi Provincial Park are interested in receiving information on birds
or mammals observed in the park. Learn more about how
you can contribute.