GRASSLANDS NATIONAL PARK CANADA
SASKATCHEWAN (town), (Compass)
00o00´S/00o00´W 90,000ha (projected size) fairly intact prairies and glacier carved mountains
open year round (time visited)
Birding Site Guide
This new park in the sw of the state in the centre of Canada and is a wonderful landscape of prairies and rugged bare top alpine mountains. There are places to stay in towns outwith the park such as Val Marie (has camp site), Glentworth and Wood Mountain and guides can take you in. Camping is allowed inside the park at Mankota. The main river is the Frenchman in the w and there are forests in the n, to the e are the eroded badlands. Priarie flowers are at their best in July.
There is a program of restoration of ploughed areas, which is ongoing.
Species Prairie species: Baird's Sparrow, Black-billed Magpies, Ferruginous Hawk, Horned Larks, Lark Buntings, Long-billed Curlews, Longerhead Shrike, Peregrine, Sage Grouse, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Sprague's Pipits. Owls include Great Grey Owl, Burrowing and Short-eared Owl.
Other Fauna gophers, badgers and prairie dogs Deer and Antelope include the Pronghorn Antelope, Mule Deer and White-tailed Deer. Bison have been reintroduced here in small numbers and there are small numbers of Elk, Grizzly Bear, Wolverine and Puma. The rare black-tailed prairie dog still hangs on in the Frenchman River Valley. Lost though are Black- footed Ferret and Greater Prairie-Chicken. Swift Fox is being reintroduced. Other species include Coyote, fox and badger.
Snakes include Prairie Rattlesnakes and Yellow-bellied Racer, there are other reptiles such as Painted Turtles and Short- horned lizards. Amphibians include the Plains Spadefoot Toad and the Great Plains Toad.
Flora 40 species of naturally occurring grasses. Common trees include American Elm, aspen, Buffalo Berry, cottonwood, Green Ash, Wolf Willow, oaks, Manitoba Maple. There are also drier areas with sage and rabbit brush, and cacti such as prickly pear and pincushions. Flowers add colour with Gumbo Evening Primrose and the Prairie Crocus. Of rarer species 36 have been found including Bessey’s Focoweed, Dwarf Fleabane, Oat Grass, Rocky Mountain Juniper and Squirrel-tail Grass.
Author: Jeh Custer