Wapusk is the Cree word for “white bear”, and as the meaning indicates, the 11,475-square-kilometre (4,430 sq mi) park protects one of the world’s largest known polar bear maternity denning areas. It includes a large part of the Hudson Bay Lowlands, a subarctic region bordering Hudson Bay that is mostly muskeg and wet peatlands. It is one of the wildest and most remote of Canadian landscapes.
Numerous birds are found in the Wapusk National Park and it is a likely breeding area of the short-billed dowitcher.The Wapusk National Park is a significant maternity denning area for the polar bear, Ursus maritimus.
In a 2010 report biologists affiliated with the American Museum of Natural History and City College of the City University of New York have prepared a new report published in Canadian Field Naturalist that offers the first documented evidence the temperamental grizzly bears are migrating into polar bear territory. Researchers found that seven grizzlies have been spotted in Wapusk National Park south of Churchill, between 2003 and 2008.