Landscape: The most outstanding feature of this region is
the spectacular sand dune area on the south shore of Lake Athabasca.
It's the most northerly, active sand dune region in the world. Some
of the dunes in this 100-kms stretch (60 miles) are more than 30
metres high (100 ft) and hundreds of metres long. The dunes are
home to a dozen plant species that grow nowhere else in the world,
including: Turnor's willow; sand chickweed; and Mackenzie hairgrass.
Wetlands are less numerous in this region, with Lake Athabasca a
gargantuan exception. Other prominent features of the region include
eskers, drumlins and flutings, which mark the path of the glaciers
during the last ice age. Young and open stands of jack pine are prevalent
in the sandy, dry soil, with pine-spruce forests found in the drumlin
areas, and white birch and black spruce common in lower slopes of
is a natural and important part of the boreal forest ecosystem.
Wildlife: Populations and diversity are low compared to
elsewhere in the Shield. Localized populations of moose, black bear
and timber wolf are most prominent. The migratory barren-ground
caribou and associated arctic fox sometimes winter here. Birds commonly
found in the region include the white-winged crossbill, Cape May
warbler, Bohemian waxwing and blackpoll warbler.
hills (drumlins) mark the direction of glacial advance.
Fish: Cold-water species like lake trout, arctic grayling
and whitefish, in addition to northern pike and walleye, are common
to the lakes of this region. Fishing Guide
Recreation: Athabasca Sand Dunes Provincial Wilderness Park
is reached by flying to Uranium City and boating across Lake Athabasca.
Recommended for experienced wilderness campers only. There are six,
designated, no-service camping areas. Fires permitted only in certain
areas of the park. Several fly-in fishing camps are found in this
region, as well.
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