Sirmilik National Park

by | October 5, 2021

This national park in Canadian Nunavut Territory includes part of Baffin Island and the Bylot Islands. Its 22,200 square kilometers make it the third largest National parks of the country. It got its name from the Inukitut Indians. It means place of glaciers and this is absolutely true.

The first protected area began in 1965. Part of today’s park was designated a bird sanctuary. In 1999 the current area was named a national park. The bird sanctuary is now one of the most famous of its kind. The protected area protrudes around 3,200 meters into the open sea. This is necessary to protect the bird paradise comprehensively.

History of the Sirmilik National Park

Archaeologists have made several finds during excavations that confirm that there must have been settlements in the area for more than 4,000 years. The Dorset culture and the Thule culture were arguably the first residents. Their successors, the Inuit, also lived in this area.

It was William Baffin and Robert Bylot who arrived on Lancaster Sound in the 17th century. Europeans met the Eclipse Sound in 1820. The reason was an expedition with explorers of the Arctic. William Edward-Perry was among them. But even some time before this research team landed here, people must have been in the area, because the whale and seal fishing of the Scots and Americans should have penetrated this far.
Hunting was also practiced in this area in the 19th and 20th centuries.

In 1906, Captain Joseph Elzéar Bernieur declared Bylot Island to be part of Canadian territory. Only four years later, a trading post was set up at Button Point, near Capre Graham Moore, which existed for a few years. The remains from that time are still there, but this is really the last remaining settlement, as there are no more settlements here today. Wildlife of the national park

Arctic birds and marine mammals feel very comfortable in the area of ​​the Sirmilik National Park. No wonder that a real bird paradise can be found here. The seabirds find a lot and varied food here. A wide variety of species have settled here. The Sirmilik National Park is particularly popular among seabirds as a spring and summer location. It has been found that some of the species are home to the largest breeding colonies in the world.
There are over 50 different bird species here, over 30 of which breed and raise their young in the area of ​​the park.

In addition, over 100,000 larger snow geese nest here. Numerous songbirds are also represented here.

The waters of the region are rich in fish stocks above average. Not only the large populations of water dwellers but also their biodiversity characterize the entire area.
Several species of seals, which attract many polar bears, have settled here. Up to 150 polar bears live here in the summer months.
White whales, bowhead whales, humpback whales and the walrus have also found their home in the Sirmilik National Park.

On the mainland also live a great many mammals. The caribou, arctic foxes, the arctic wolf and ground squirrels have reproduced well here and fill the landscapes with life.

Plant world in the Sirmilik National Park

Since the entire area is mostly covered by glaciers, only a small occurrence of plants is possible here. Lichen and mosses and some vascular plants, however, were able to prevail and show up in some places. There are also whole plants pillow from here stems Losem Campion and various rock crushing plants. Grasses and arctic poppies line the barren landscape.

Sirmilik National Park