Polar Bear Pass
LocationBathurst Island, Qikiqtaaluk, Nunavut, Canada
Coordinates75°43′N 98°40′W / 75.717°N 98.667°W / 75.717; -98.667 (Polar Bear Pass)Coordinates: 75°43′N 98°40′W / 75.717°N 98.667°W / 75.717; -98.667 (Polar Bear Pass)
Designated24 May 1982
Reference no.245[1]

Polar Bear Pass is a 262,400 hectare wetland and mountain pass on Bathurst Island within the Qikiqtaaluk Region, Nunavut, Canada. The pass is on federal Crown land.[2]

Fauna and flora

The wetland exists within a tundra desert in the high Arctic. It is a staging area for migratory birds, as well as a breeding area for numerous bird species. The large insect population is an ample food source for these birds.

Various water features are located throughout the site, including lakes, tundra ponds and meadows. Vegetation consists primarily of "grasses, sedges, mosses and lichens",[3] as well as a diversity of flowering plants.

An ecological research station is located on the site. Various studies have been conducted in the area, including those on the endangered Peary caribou by the Canadian Wildlife Service. Currently, the territorial government is funding studies on muskoxen and caribou in the region.

Its name is derived from the polar bears that migrate through the region between March and November each year.[3]


Polar Bear Pass is an International Biological Program site. It was designated a Ramsar site on May 24, 1982.[2] Polar Bear Pass National Wildlife Area received its designation in 1985.[4]


  1. ^ "Polar Bear Pass". Ramsar Sites Information Service. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Polar Bear Pass National Wildlife Area, Nunavut - Ramsar Site". Environment Canada. Archived from the original on 2008-05-04. Retrieved 2008-01-27.
  3. ^ a b "The Annotated Ramsar List: Canada". The Annotated Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance. Ramsar Convention Bureau. Archived from the original on 2007-12-30. Retrieved 2008-01-27.
  4. ^ "Polar Bear Pass". mpaglobal.org. Archived from the original on 2018-02-03. Retrieved 2009-09-10.