Wood Buffalo National Park launches new Whooping Crane Iconic Experience

For the first time ever, visitors to Wood Buffalo KNP_24HNational Park will be able to see the endangered whooping crane in their last natural nesting ground through a new park-guided experience that offers visitors a chance to view these magnificent birds from the air and on the ground. Friends of the Wild Whoopers discussed the new experience with Wood Buffalo official Tim Gauthier who is excited about the park’s new effort. Gauthier explained that, “This experience is one of a series of Northern Iconic Experiences that have been created as part of the National Conservation Plan, which seeks new ways to help Canadians to connect to protected spaces and to highlight world-class conservation success stories.”

The Whooping Crane Iconic Experience is now accepting bookings for the spring 2015 launch of this new offer.  Visitors will be able to choose from helicopter or airplane overflights of the whooping crane nesting grounds and an option to hike into carefully situated blinds positioned in viewing distance of crane nests.

Visitors will also have a range of other unique Wood Buffalo experiences included in their package, such as a guided hike to Canada’s only Salt Plains, a landscape unique to Wood Buffalo National Park, a traditional local Aboriginal experience of storytelling, games, and country foods, and a visit to Pine Lake, a unique Caribbean-blue jewel in the heart of the boreal forest. While the cranes are the central focus of this experience, Park staff want to share the many wonders of Wood Buffalo with our visitors so they leave having truly experienced the majesty of Canada’s greatest protected wilderness.

The endangered whooping crane continues to make a remarkable recovery “back from the brink”. Visit their amazing summer nesting grounds in Wood Buffalo National Park and experience first-hand this important conservation achievement.

For the first time ever, visitors will be guided to the secluded summer nesting grounds of the iconic whooping crane. Parks Canada is offering a package tour for those who would like to:

  • Learn more about the wild WBNP whooping crane flock and the conservation efforts that have kept their population on the rise
  • Fly over the nesting grounds in a fixed wing airplane or helicopter for a look at the whooping cranes in their unique nesting and rearing habitat with a Parks Canada guide
  • Land via helicopter in the nesting grounds to see the unique whooping crane habitat up close OR hike to a blind to hopefully view whooping cranes on their nest or see parents and fledglings forage for food
  • Go flightseeing over the Salt Plains, an ancient inland sea bed, and perhaps see non-nesting whooping cranes
  • Heli-hike to the Salt Plains largest salt mound for a taste
  • Play a role in the conservation of Whooping Cranes

All Whooping Crane Experience tours depart from Fort Smith, NT

You can pick your dates

Airplane Flyover Trip

  • June 1 – 4
  • August 17 – 20
  • August 24 – 27

Heli-Flight Trips – land in the nesting ground OR Heli-Hike Trips – hike to a whooping crane blind

  • May 25-May 28

*These dates are approximate. Please see the Whooping Crane Experience Guide for details and pricing information.

For further information on the Whooping Crane Iconic Experience, please contact the Wood Buffalo National Park Visitor Information Centre at (867) 872-7960.

To obtain more information or to schedule a media interview, please contact Tim Gauthier at 867-872-7957 or at tim.gauthier@pc.gc.ca.  Please note that visual support materials are available upon request. 

Additional details can also be found at the following link: http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/nt/woodbuffalo/ne/WC_Exp.aspx

***** FOTWW’s mission is to help preserve and protect the Aransas/Wood Buffalo
population of wild whooping cranes and their habitat. *****
Friends of the Wild Whoopers is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization.

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