Location and Values: Nahanni National Park is located in the MacKenzie Mountains of Canada’s Northwest Territories, near the border with Yukon. It includes one of the most spectacular wild rivers in North America, featuring a series of deep canyons, and the huge Virginia Falls where the South Nahanni River crashes over a 90m precipice in a thunderous plume. The site is recognized for the complexity of its geological features, which include limestone caves, karst features and hot springs, as well as some spectacular granite peaks resulting from tectonic uplift. Nahanni was amongst the very first sites to be inscribed on the world heritage list (in 1978), and is now (since 2009) embedded within a much larger (30,000 km2) protected landscape, the Nahanni National Park Reserve.
Conservation Status and Prospects. According to IUCN’s Conservation Outlook Assessment (2017) the conservation status of Nahanni National Park is ‘good, with some concerns’. The IUCN report notes that the geological features of the site and its outstanding scenic beauty are well preserved and remain in a good condition. There are no significant threats at the moment, although a warming climate may result in increased permafrost thaw, and flooding. The most significant long-term potential threat is from mining activity in the wider landscape, which might impact the site.
UNESCO Official Website
IUCN Conservation Outlook
UNEP-WCMC Site Description