FORT SASKATCHEWAN, ALBERTA -- (Marketwire) -- 03/28/13 -- Editors Note: There are two photos associated with this press release.
Today, the Honourable Peter Kent, Canada's Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, announced that Elk Island National Park has provided an additional 30 wood bison to the Republic of Sakha, Russia. This third transfer brings the total number of wood bison in Sakha to over 120.
"The Government of Canada's commitment to conservation initiatives is not limited by international borders," said Minister Kent. "In contributing to a significant international conservation project, we support the continued survival and well-being of an iconic and majestic animal and ensure that bison still live in our world today."
Environment Canada and Parks Canada Agency have an agreement with the Republic of Sakha, Russia, to provide wood bison from Elk Island National Park to Lensky Stolby Nature Park in Sakha. Previous transfers took place in 2006 and 2011.
Russian representatives were in Canada to observe and participate in the selection and preparation of the bison. On March 21, the bison were flown from Edmonton International Airport to Yakutsk, Russia.
"From its earliest days to today's latest relocation of wood bison to Russia, Elk Island National Park has a long and successful history of caring for and safely relocating wildlife," said Alan Fehr, Field Unit Superintendent for Elk Island and Prince Albert National Parks. "Each transfer of animals is a celebration of their survival and a tribute to the work of many individuals."
In 1906, five early conservationists established Elk Park near Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta. Elk Park became Elk Island National Park in 1913, Canada's sixth member of the Dominion Parks System. Plains bison and later, wood bison, were brought to the fenced park to establish disease-free conservation herds. Bison from Elk Island National Park have been provided to conservation areas across Canada and internationally.
Thanks to initiatives like the bison transfer, Parks Canada is a recognized leader in the conservation of Canada's natural and cultural heritage. Elk Island National Park celebrates its centennial in 2013 and has been recognized by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada for its nationally significant role in the preservation of plains bison in Canada. Over 200,000 people visit Elk Island National Park each year.
For more information on Elk Island National Park, please visit www.parkscanada.gc.ca.
Elk Island Celebrates 100 Years as a National Park with International Bison Conservation Project - March 21, 2013
In 1906, five early conservationists - elk hunters who noticed a decline in the area's elk population - established Elk Park near Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta. In 1913, Elk Park became Elk Island National Park, Canada's sixth member of the Dominion Park System. From its earliest days to today's third transfer of wood bison to the Republic of Sakha, in Russia, Elk Island National Park has a long and successful history of caring for and safely relocating wildlife.
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