Wild about life in Yoho National Park

Whether discovering Yoho National Park by car, or hiking through its splendid backcountry, opportunities to glimpse the park’s abundant and diverse wildlife abound

Lindsay McPherson

PR  and communication officer  for Parks  Canada

Whether discovering Yoho National Park by car, or hiking through its splendid backcountry, opportunities to glimpse the park’s abundant and diverse wildlife abound.

Perhaps the animals most closely associated with the Canadian Rockies are grizzly and black bears.

Bears have huge home ranges, and frequently cross boundaries between the parks into provincial lands – a single adult male grizzly bear’s home range is roughly the same size as the city of Calgary. If you spot a bear on an adventure in Yoho, resist the urge to get too close – bears that become habituated to humans through constant and repeated exposure are at a greater risk of dying a human-caused death.

The Canada lynx is one of Yoho’s more elusive species, due to its home range in high wintergreen forests and nocturnal behaviour. You tend to find lynx in areas that support their favourite prey item – the snowshoe hare.

In fact, a past study showed that a single Canada lynx can eat up to 200 snowshoe hare in one year. Lynx track snowshoe hare in their preferred habitat, which consists of a thick undergrowth of shrubs and saplings for food and cover. These types of landscapes are often found in young forests regenerating after disturbances created by wind throw, forest insects, forest disease, or fire.

Although Yoho likely doesn’t likely have a resident, reproducing pack, wolves from provincial lands and adjacent national parks make use of parts of Yoho throughout the year. Though their numbers have slowly increased, the wolf population remains lower than its historic level, due to widespread hunting and population control programs in place in the 1940s and 1950s on provincial lands and even within the national parks.

Wolves can travel incredible distances. This is best illustrated by Pluie, a female gray wolf that lived in the Canadian Rockies in the early 90’s. Fitted with a radio collar and satellite transmitter in the summer of 1991, Pluie’s was tracked for two years while she travelled more than 100,000-square kilometers through Banff National Park into British Columbia, across the U.S. to Montana, over to Idaho, then into Washington before returning home to Canada. All told, Pluie travelled through two countries, two provinces, three states and numerous national parks and protected areas in search of a mate and food.

Elk are a commonly seen animal in the park, especially around Field in the fall and early spring. Yoho’s lush valley bottoms provide elk with ideal grazing areas and habitat connectivity.

Though they don’t appear imposing, cow elk with calves can be quite dangerous and have been known to charge at perceived threats. Like all animals in the park, it is important to stay a safe distance away and give them the space they need to live.

In the spring and summer, Yoho is filled with the songs of migratory birds. A set of binoculars and an identification book are key to naming the over 200 birds that have been recorded in Yoho. These include finches, warblers, hummingbirds, owls, hawks, the mountain bluebird, and golden eagle. The Leanchoil Marsh near Wapta Falls is one of the best places to view waterfowl, like teals, mallards and mergansers.

Parks Canada and the community of Field invite you to join us at the Field Community Centre on October 9th from 4 until 7: 30 pm as we wrap-up our celebrations of Yoho’s 125th anniversary with a pie baking contest, a variety show by Mountain World Heritage Interpretive Theatre, and a pot luck dinner. For more information please call the Yoho Visitor Centre at 250 343 6783.


Just Posted

Category 3 fires to be prohibited in Southeast Fire District

The prohibition will take effect at noon on Wednesday, June 12

Editorial: We’re already ambassadors to our community

There are many ways to spend your extra time in Golden. Have… Continue reading

Data shows nine years of Tourism Golden growth

Tourism Golden has seen its ninth consecutive year of substantial growth in… Continue reading

Protecting small mammals after logging near Golden

A team of biologists are keeping an eye on small mammals in… Continue reading

Business profile: IGA celebrates 50 years of business in Golden

IGA has been providing the Town of Golden with their groceries for… Continue reading

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

No business case for Trans Mountain expansion, says former environment minister

Cabinet is expected to announce its decision on the expansion of the Alberta-to-B.C. pipeline by Tuesday

Most Read