Moose Cow and Calf, Mayfield Lake

Photograph by Michael Christopher Brown, National Geographic

Morning draws a moose cow and calf into the shallows of Mayfield Lake in British Columbia. With a rich array of species, including several types of large mammals, the M-K offers a unique window on wildlife. Few roads open into the region, limiting human access—but not animal behavior, says Kathy Parker, a professor of wildlife ecology at the University of Northern British Columbia. A relatively intact landscape has helped keep ecosystems intact and let animals retain flexibility in what they eat and how they migrate. "Animals in the M-K still have a lot of options," Parker says. "It allows animals to use more than one strategy to make a living, which may be important for long-term survival and reproduction."