A young bruin, holds a salmon by the skin of its' teeth while looking for a second.
The Kluane River at freeze up. Chum salmon migrate a thousand miles to spawn and die in the Kluane River and its' tribuataries, creating a biological hotspot that attracts wildlife from all over.
Birds and Bears
Like so many places in the North, the salmon are the lifeblood of the ecosystem. Feeding grizzlies, eagles, wolves, magpies, coyotes, ravens, and wolverines.
Young Dall sheep rams sparring for the right to breed with a group of ewes. Kluane has some of the most accessible sheep viewing in the world.
I am amazed that sheep can grow so large, by feeding on small grasses and shrubs all winter.
A Chum salmon on its' spawning bed with the St. Elias Mountains in the background.
A Grizzly bear pounces on salmon in their spawning grounds off the Kluane River. The grizzlies are feeding on salmon in early winter, fattening up for a long hibernation.
Frosty Freeze Dinner
This particular grizzly, would catch salmon and leave them on shore to freeze, returning hours later to feast on his frozen meals. Grizzlies, will often only eat the skin of the salmon, leaving the remains for eagles, ravens and wolves to scavenge.
Lifeblood of the Ecosystem
Salmon create ecological hotspots, providing critical nutrients and fat to the forest and its' wildlife. The spawned out salmon that freeze in the river, will be dug up by wolves and wolverines feeding them all winter.