The larger islands in the archipelago support a range of fauna - among the largest of them, woodland caribou, moose, deer, bear, wolves and beaver. The waters themselves are home to over 70 species of fish, and support both a commercial and sport fishery.
A 1981 agreement between the governments of Canada and Saskatchewan provided for the future establishment of Grasslands National Park, which will eventually encompass 906.4 km2. More than 60% of the lands required for the park have already been acquired on a "willing-seller willing-buyer" basis.
Located on the Cumberland Peninsula of Baffin Island, Nunavut, Auyuittuq National Park (established 2001, 19 089 km2) was Canada's first national park located north of the Arctic Circle. It was first set up as a national park reserve in 1976 and established as a national park through the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement.