Located well above the Arctic Circle, the site includes the mountainous Wrangel Island (7,608 km2), Herald Island (11 km2) and surrounding waters. Wrangel was not glaciated during the Quaternary Ice Age, resulting in exceptionally high levels of biodiversity for this region. The island boasts the world’s largest population of Pacific walrus and the highest density of ancestral polar bear dens. It is a major feeding ground for the grey whale migrating from Mexico and the northernmost nesting ground for 100 migratory bird species, many endangered. Currently, 417 species and subspecies of vascular plants have been identified on the island, double that of any other Arctic tundra territory of comparable size and more than any other Arctic island. Some species are derivative of widespread continental forms, others are the result of recent hybridization, and 23 are endemic.
Stanley Park is a 404.9 hectare (1,001 acre) urban park bordering downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It was opened in 1888 by David Oppenheimer in the name of Lord Stanley of Preston, the Governor-General of Canada.
Stanley Park contains numerous natural and man-made attractions that lure visitors to the park. Unlike other large urban parks, Stanley Park is not the product of a landscape architect, but has evolved into its present, mixed-use configuration.
Until 1996, a main attraction in the park was a zoo, which grew out of the collection of animals begun by the first park superintendent, Henry Avison, after he captured a black bear and chained it to a stump. Avison was subsequently named city pound keeper, and his collection of animals formed the basis for the original zoo, which eventually housed over 50 animals, including snakes, wolves, emus, buffalo, kangaroos, monkeys, and Humboldt penguins.
In 1994, when plans were developed to upgrade Stanley Park’s zoo, Vancouver voters instead decided to phase it out when the question was posed in a referendum. The Stanley Park Zoo closed completely in December 1997 after the last remaining animal, a polar bear named Tuk, died at age 36. He had remained after the other animals had left because of his old age. The polar bear pit, often criticised by animal rights activists, was converted into a demonstration salmon spawning hatchery. Captive animals can still be viewed at the Children’s Farmyard. Numerous varieties of animals live in the park, including 200 bird species, such as peacocks descended from the old zoo, as well as other non-native species.