Natural Beauty of Canada's Baffin Island

North America - Editor - 17 March 2011

Natural Beauty of Canada's Baffin Island

In recent years, massive cliffs such as Mount Thor, which stands at a height of 1 675 meters, have been luring BASE jumpers to Baffin Island. But before its sheers cliffs began to draw adrenalin seekers, it has always been a popular destination for nature enthusiasts. Baffin Island is the biggest island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago; in fact, it rates as one of the biggest in the world. It is home to a population of approximately eleven thousand, of which most reside in Iqaluit.

It is believed that Baffin Island has been populated since AD 1000, as archeological discoveries of wooden masks, tally sticks and yarn have been found on the island. The artifacts that have been dated show that the communities that lived here were on Baffin Island before the Vikings. Baffin Island also features two large lakes, namely the Amadjuak Lake and the Nettilling Lake, as well as other ice flows that serve as a water source for the wildlife - when visitors are not kayaking.

This remote location might sound unattractive to some, but once on the island, visitors will realize that witnessing the Northern Lights and its rare wildlife is worth taking on the cold weather for. Some of the wildlife that visitors are likely to view includes polar bears, the arctic wolf, the arctic fox, lemming, barren-ground caribou herds and arctic hare. The polar bear population remains along the coastline, as this is where they locate their main food sources, such as bearded seals and ringed seals. And as the arctic foxes are known scavengers, they are never too far behind the polar bears to eat what they leave behind.

Summer months are exciting on Baffin Island, as migrating birds and animals make their way to or past the island. Snow geese, phalarope, murres, herring gulls, ivory gulls, and plovers, to name a few, come here to nest. Harp seals migrate to the island in the summer, as well as walrus, white whales, bowhead whales and narwhals. For those seeking adventure, excitement or simply the beauty of nature, Baffin Island is all visitors could hope for and more.


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