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Natural Heritage

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The Canadian Shield
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.

transparent-spacer610wx55h.gif (281 bytes) 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

portage_on_south_nemo_river.JPG (38133 bytes)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.

moose1.JPG (20065 bytes)Wildlife of Wabakimi

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 beaver1.JPG (10410 bytes)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 timcaribou-top.JPG (4743 bytes)e, woodland caribou enjoyed a broad geographic distribution throughout Northwestern Ontario and the northern United States.
bull_caribou_molting.JPG (25957 bytes) 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.

cariboucalf.JPG (36946 bytes)Caribou 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.

Wildlife Observations:

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.


Wabakimi is one of over 270 parks in the Ontario Parks System.

Wabakimi is one of over 270 parks in the Ontario Parks System. Click here to visit the Ontario Parls Website - www.OntarioParks.com
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