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Banks Island No.2 Migratory Bird Sanctuary

Banks Island No.2 Migratory Bird Sanctuary is on the north side of Banks Island and is located entirely in Aulavik National Park. Banks Island is the fourth largest and the most western Canadian Arctic island. It was established in 1961 to protect the estimated 25,000 lesser snow geese that moult in Thomsen River valley and the surrounding wetlands, and is 170 km2. It is composed of tidal mudflats and open water, wetland meadows, dryas barrens, gentle rolling hills, and tundra lakes and ponds. The area provides habitat for up to 5,000 moulting black brants, as well as moulting Canada geese, pacific loon, yellow-billed loon, glaucous gull, long-tailed jaeger, red phalarope, and other shorebirds. Peregrine falcons, which are a species at risk, as well as rough-legged hawks nest along the cliffs. The sanctuary is one of the most important year-round habitats for muskoxen which it supports in high densities. It also provides habitat for peary caribou and barren-ground caribou which are also species at risk. The sanctuary is managed by the Canadian Wildlife Service and Parks Canada. The Inuvialuit people have access for subsistence harvest.