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Y2Y Study Area Statistics


  • The Y2Y study area is approximately 1.2 million km2 (460,000 square miles). Only a portion of the study area will comprise the network of core protected areas (mainly existing parks and protected areas) transition zones and connecting wildlife corridors


  • The Y2Y region stretches 3200km (1990 miles) from west central Wyoming to the Peel River in the Yukon Territory (only 60km south of the Arctic Circle). The study area spans 15 degrees of latitude


  • Two continental divides cut across the Y2Y region, trisecting it into three major watersheds - Atlantic, Arctic and Pacific.
  • The Y2Y region is the headwaters of ten major river systems: the Snake, Missouri, Saskatchewan, Columbia, Fraser, Athabasca, Peace, Skeena, Stikine and Liard.
  • The Y2Y region is the source of the majority of fresh water that flows to low land regions outside the study area. For example, the headwaters of the Saskatchewan River in Banff and Jasper National Parks in Alberta account for 87% of the river flow but represent only 12% of the drainage basin area
  • Protection of core reserves and connecting corridors across the Y2Y region will benefit the quality and supply of water used by most North Americans.
  • Y2Y contains the largest glacier in the Rocky Mountains (Columbia Icefield)


  • At least 118 species of fish exist in the region including Bull trout which are listed as vulnerable throughout their native range in the US and Canada.
  • The range of the Westslope Cutthroat trout lies entirely within the Y2Y region. Most populations are either extinct or in grave danger. For example, in Montana, the Westslope Cutthroat occupies only 19% of its native range.
  • The Arctic Grayling has been extirpated from at least eight watersheds out of 95 in the Y2Y where it is believed to be indigenous.


  • 59% of the region is forested, 4.5% is grasslands, 2.6% is classified as agriculture although an additional 7.5% is probably grazed but not cultivated


  • At least 275 species of birds breed in the Y2Y region, most are concentrated in valley bottoms. Over 6000 golden eagles and 19 other species of raptors migrate up and down the backbone of the Y2Y region, from Yellowstone to the Yukon, each spring and fall


  • At least 70 species of mammals occupy the Y2Y region. Of particular note is the region's diverse assemblage of large carnivores. The ranges of cougar, lynx, bobcat, wolf, wolverine, grizzly bear and black bear all overlap in the Y2Y region.

Y2Y study area

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