With five national parks and more than 250 provincial parks, Alberta is a sanctuary for wildlife. There are 587 protected species that live here, including its seven ‘Wildlife Allstars’: Bighorn sheep, elk, grizzly bears, moose, bison, cougars and wolves. Winter is a great time of year to have these animals all to yourself.
Head to Jasper National Park to look out for many of the above species, as well as coyotes, foxes and lynx. For the best and safest way to explore the park, join a guided wildlife watching tour, where you can also learn about the history and ecology of this extraordinary natural environment. Joe Urie, owner of Jasper Tour Company, offers an educational excursion, teaching visitors about the significance of the native wildlife to indigenous culture.
Elk Island National Park is located outside the Rockies and approximately 30 kilometres east of Edmonton. The UNESCO designated biosphere reserve is an important conservation area for bison, plays a vital role in the repopulation of elk, plus is the home to more than 250 bird species.