Yukon Ice Patches, Yukon

Canadian Geographic - - UNESCO -

SIG­NIF­I­CANCE These patches were dis­cov­ered two decades ago in 1997, though the cli­matic con­di­tions that have al­lowed peren­nial ice patches to form have ex­isted in the study area for 9,000 years. Due to global warm­ing, the ice patches are now melt­ing and re­veal­ing un­prece­dented col­lec­tions of re­mark­ably pre­served an­cient hunt­ing tools and other ar­ti­facts that date back mil­len­nia. SIZE 18,000 square kilo­me­tres LO­CA­TION South­ern Yukon, in the South­ern Lakes re­gion, Ruby Ranges and Yukon-stikine High­lands CUR­RENT OF­FI­CIAL PRO­TEC­TION None RAR­ITY FAC­TOR Over the years, a col­lec­tion of ar­ti­facts made from wood, antler, leather, bone and feather has been ex­tracted that il­lus­trate throw­ing dart (at­latl) and bow and ar­row tech­nol­ogy, demon­strat­ing the in­ter­re­la­tion­ship of In­dige­nous knowl­edge, wildlife, cli­mate and ma­te­rial cul­ture. THE LO­CAL’S TAKE “If air tem­per­a­tures in the sum­mer con­tinue to climb, then those ice patches will start to dis­ap­pear and ar­ti­facts will de­te­ri­o­rate faster,” says Ger­ald Holdsworth, re­search as­so­ciate with the Arc­tic In­sti­tute of North Amer­ica. “Project this pic­ture onto talk of her­itage sites and there are ob­vi­ously some real is­sues to be faced re­gard­ing the preser­va­tion of the ar­ti­facts that re­main.”

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