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Anderson River Delta Migratory Bird Sanctuary

The Anderson River Delta Migratory Bird Sanctuary is a 1083 km2area located 160 km east of Tuktoyaktuk. It was established in 1961 to protect migratory birds during the critical periods of their life cycle. The sanctuary is composed of three main areas- the outer delta which is the newest and contains islands and mud bars, the middle delta which contains marshes and grasslands, and the inner delta which is the oldest and contains flats with lakes, marshy meadows and Wood Bay. Anderson River flows through the sanctuary into Wood Bay. The area supports 104 species, while 76 of these species breeds within it. During the spring and fall, the shallow waters of Wood Bay serve as feeding grounds for scaup, long-tailed ducks, white-winged scoters, and red-breasted mergansers. During the summer, it serves as the feeding grounds for sandpipers, plovers, phalaropes, and other shorebirds. The sanctuary has trees such as willows, dwarf birch, and spruce, so it attracts species such as warblers, thrushes, swallows and sparrows. Songbirds are also attracted to the area due to the high variety of plant life. Raptors, gyrfalcons, and peregrine falcons, which are a species at risk, nest on bluffs in the area. Up to 2,500 black brants nest on the outer part of the delta, which is 5% of the total Canadian population. In the middle of the delta, 5% of the western Arctic population of lesser snow breed there, which is about 8,000 birds. In the inner delta, there are 150 breeding and 1,200 non-breeding tundra swans. The endangered eskimo curlew was spotted between 1961-1964 in the sanctuary, but their current status is unknown. The sanctuary is also home to grizzly bears, barren-ground caribou, and moose. The area is managed by Canadian Wildlife Service, and is closed to the public unless a permit has been acquired. The Inuvialuit people have access for subsistence harvest.