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Ecological Framework of Canada
Ecoregions of Canada


This ecoregion is located adjacent to the Beaufort Sea on the western coastal plain of Banks Island in the western Arctic. The mean annual temperature is approximately -14°C with a summer mean of 1°C and a winter mean of -29°C. The mean annual precipitation ranges 100-200 mm. This ecoregion's temperatures are moderated by open water during the late summer and early fall, and it is classified as having a low arctic ecoclimate. Vegetation consists of moss, and mixed low-growing herbs and shrubs such as purple saxifrage, Dryas spp., arctic willow, kobresia, sedge, and arctic poppy. This unglaciated coastal plain is underlain by unconsolidated Tertiary or early Pleistocene sands and gravel. It is characterized by low, rolling hills and well-organized drainage. Alluvial plains and low, westward-sloping terraces bordering major stream valleys exhibit several stages of erosion and uplift. Turbic Cryosols with Static Cryosols are the dominant soils, and have developed on a variety of smooth, undulating deposits. The deep, continuous permafrost has high ice content with abundant ice wedges. Wetlands cover 25-50% of this ecoregion, and are characterized either by horizontal fens and low-centre lowland polygon fens with small, elevated peat mound bogs, or by marshes along the coast and shallow waters. Characteristic wildlife includes muskox, caribou, arctic hare, arctic fox, snowy owl, raptors, polar bear, seal, walrus, whale, seabirds, and waterfowl. Land uses in this ecoregion include trapping, hunting, and fishing. The largest settlement is Sachs Harbour. The population of the ecoregion is approximately 200.

This ecoregion is part of the Northern Arctic ecozone.