The fauna of Canada is considered to be diverse across Canada, ranging from lush forests of British Columbia, to the prairies of Western Canada, to the tundra of the Northern Canada. With a large land mass, and small population density, the wildlands of Canada provide important habitat for many animals, both endangered and not. Canada is home to approximately 70 000 known species of plants and animals - and perhaps many more that have yet to be discovered.
In a more restricted sense, the term may also refer to the areas of those provinces covered by prairie. Prairie also covers portions of northeastern British Columbia, though that province is typically not included in the region in a political sense.
The Harp Seal or Saddleback seal is a species of earless seal native to the northernmost Atlantic Ocean and adjacent parts of the Arctic Ocean. Officially Pagophilus groenlandicus, which means ice-lover from Greenland, it has a synonym Phoca groenlandica or Greenland seal. It can also be found in Canada It is also known as the Greenland seal.
Females mature sexually at age 5–6. Annually thereafter they bear one pup, usually in late February. The fertilized egg grows into a spherical embryo that implants in the uterus only after 3 or so months, to allow birth to take place while sufficient pack ice is available. Newborn pups weight around 11 kilograms (24 lb) and are 80–85 centimetres (31–33 in) long. After birth, the mother only feeds that pup. During the 12-day nursing period, the mother does not eat, losing up to 3 kilograms (6.6 lb) per day. All three populations are hunted commercially, mainly by Canada, Norway, Russia and Greenland.
The Canadian Pacific Railway was instrumental in Banff's early years, building the Banff Springs Hotel and Chateau Lake Louise, and attracting tourists through extensive advertising. In the early 20th century, roads were built in Banff, at times by war internees, and through Great Depression-era public works projects. Since the 1960s, park accommodations have been open all year, with annual tourism visits to Banff increasing to over 5 million in the 1990s. Millions more pass through the park on the Trans-Canada Highway. As Banff is one of the world's most visited national parks, the health of its ecosystem has been threatened. In the mid-1990s, Parks Canada responded by initiating a two-year study, which resulted in management recommendations, and new policies that aim to preserve ecological integrity.
Populus tremuloides is a deciduous tree native to cooler areas of North America. The species is referred to Quaking Aspen, Trembling Aspen, and Quakies, names deriving from its leaves which flutter in the breeze. The tree-like plant has tall trunks, up to 25 metres, with smooth pale bark, scarred with black. The glossy green leaves, dull beneath, become golden to yellow, rarely red, in Autumn. A tall, fast growing tree, usually 20–25 metres (66–82 ft) at maturity, with a trunk 20–80 centimetres (7.9–31 in) in diameter; records are 36.5 meters (120 ft) in height and 1.37 metres (4.5 ft) in diameter. The bark is relatively smooth greenish-white to gray and is marked by thick black horizontal scars and prominent black knots.