Travel

Welcome to Waterton Wildlife Weekend

Get ready for a few wild, woolly days in Alberta’s Waterton Lakes National Park
  • Aug 31, 2014
  • 321 words
  • 2 minutes
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Bordering Glacier National Park in Montana, Waterton Lakes National Park is snuggled into the southwestern corner of Alberta, right where the prairies run smack into the mountains. It’s proved a fortuitous encounter for all concerned. An International Peace Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a Biosphere Reserve, the park jauntily wears three hats and the well-deserved nickname “the Crown of the Continent.” Indeed, the park has riches to spare, from its spectacular landscape, which boasts four ecogregions and 45 different vegetation communities, to its mild (albeit windy) climate. But from September 19 through September 21, people come for its wildlife. And nobody goes away disappointed.

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A remarkably diverse number of animal species call the park’s 505 square kilometres home: more than 60 species of mammals, over 250 species of birds, a couple dozen fish species, 10 species of reptiles and amphibians and invertebrates too numerous to count. Over the course of the Waterton Wildlife Weekend, naturalists and photographers lead workshops that will introduce you to the natural history and habits of at least some of them. Tour the landscape from a bear’s point of view with expert Charlie Russell, or head to Red Rock Canyon to learn about how to find wildlife habitat and photograph your subjects non-intrusively. Discover the photographic value of composition, depth of field and exposure in the field, and learn how the smallest wildflowers feed the largest mammals—and how these critical interconnections are essential to the way the wild works. From bugling elk, wandering wolves and bears to the tiniest carnivores in the park (spiders), as well as the elusive salamander, you’ll gain an insider’s view on what makes one of the world’s most impressive parks tick.

Participants are encouraged to car pool to the park, as well as dress prepared for a range of changeable weather. Bring along a daypack with water bottle, snack, sunscreen, a toque and, of course, a camera.

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