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Spring Wildlife Migrations in the Yukon

As the temperature begins to rise again in the Yukon, so does the wildlife. During the spectacular Spring season in Canada's Northwest corner, over 7,000 grizzly bears and 10,000 black bears awaken from their slumber and gravitate towards areas where food is fruitful.

The Bear Migration:
The Bear Migration:

It's not just the bears that spring back into life in the 80% pristine wilderness though; there are mass migrations of other animals at this time of year too. Roughly the size of Spain at just over 186,000 square miles, the Yukon is also home to more than 160,000 caribou, 70,000 moose, 22,000 mountain sheep, and 250 species of birds, with a human population of only 41,000.

There are animals everywhere in the Yukon territory. Knowing where and when to expect them will increase the chances of being able to spot them of seeing some of the incredible wildlife that call the territory home.

The Bear Migration:

Visitors will spot bears on sunny roadsides, where the first plants start to shoot up in abundance. Taking the world-renowned Alaska Highway from Haines Junction towards Destruction Bay is a prime route. As it follows the longest lake contained entirely in the Yukon, Kluane Lake, bears are frequently spotted in the mountains alongside the water.

Grizzly  Haines Road Yukon
Grizzly Haines Road Yukon

The Swan Migration:

Each spring, trumpeter swans fly North and return to the Yukon territory to rest at the breathtaking Marsh Lake, just south of Whitehorse on the Alaska Highway. There are daily bird counts here and plenty of activities planned, including birding tours, bird identification and photography workshops, art exhibits, and more.

The Sandhill Cranes Migration:

In Faro each spring, view thousands of sandhill cranes as they migrate through the Yukon community on their way to their breeding grounds farther north. At the same time, Fannin's sheep start appearing on the mountainsides with their offspring.

Herd of Doe Elk crossing highway
Herd of Doe Elk crossing highway

The Dall Sheep Migration:

One of the best places to spot Dall Sheep is on Sheep Mountain located in Kluane National Park and Reserve. There are dozens of Dall's sheep here. Drive slowly through the valley as sheep often come down onto the roads. For a closer look, park at a pullout and hike.

Dall Sheep
Dall Sheep

View wildlife year-round at the Yukon Wildlife Preserve:

Wildlife sightseeing is guaranteed at the Yukon Wildlife Preserve. Open year-round, which vary depending on the season), the preserve is home to all kinds of local wildlife, including moose, elk, mountain goats, muskox, wood bison, thinhorn sheep, and more. Visiting in the spring increases the chances of seeing baby animals, as this is when many of the preserve's mature residents give birth. Spring Wildlife Migrations in the Yukon This is also the time of year you're most likely to see all animals at play. Facilities in the preserve include the Wildlife Research and Rehabilitation Center where injured wild animals are cared for by specialists who work to release healthy, capable animals back into the wild. As a non-profit charitable organisation, they strive to connect visitors to the natural world through memorable experiences in large natural landscapes. The preserve cares for Yukon's most vulnerable wildlife and builds nature literacy through engaging programmes.

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