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UNESCO issues warning about Wood Buffalo National Park

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An United Nations agency has issued a warning about the environmental health of Canada’s largest national park.

UNESCO says Wood Buffalo National Park in northern Alberta is threatened by energy development, hydro dams and poor management.

READ MORE: Groups want Wood Buffalo National Park on list of World Heritage Sites in danger

Water levels in the region are dropping, preventing First Nations from getting access to their traditional territory.

The agency says unless its recommendations are followed, it will add Wood Buffalo to its list of World Heritage Sites in Danger. There are 55 properties on the list, which also includes the Everglades National Park in the U.S. and several ancient cities in Syria.

READ MORE: UN looks at BC hydro project’s potential impact on Alberta world heritage site

UNESCO visited the park last fall after First Nations asked it to examine the area.

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The huge park — bigger than the Netherlands — is the world’s only breeding ground for whooping cranes, as well as for billions of boreal songbirds.

READ MORE: Plans to offer whooping crane tours in northern Alberta may be grounded