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Ecological Framework of Canada
Ecoregions of Canada


This ecoregion occurs predominantly on southern Victoria Island and to a minor extent on the mainland. The mean annual temperature is approximately -14°C with a summer mean of 2°C and a winter mean of -28.5°C. The mean annual precipitation ranges 100-200 mm. This ecoregion is classified as having a low arctic ecoclimate. It is characterized by a nearly continuous cover of dwarf tundra vegetation, consisting of dwarf birch, willow, northern Labrador tea, Dryas spp., and Vaccinium spp. Tall dwarf birch, willow, and alder occur on warm sites; wet sites are dominated by willow and sedge. The terrain of the southern one-third of Victoria Island generally slopes gently to the southwest and is composed of stratified Palaeozoic carbonate rocks. Extensive areas of drumlinoid ridges impart a characteristic grain to the minor topography on the island. Turbic Cryosols are the dominant soils, and have developed on a variety of smooth, undulating glacial deposits. Deep, continuous permafrost with high ice content and abundant ice wedges are characteristic, although an area with continuous low ice content permafrost runs along the coast between Minto Inlet and Prince Albert Sound, west of the Shaler Mountains ecoregion. Characteristic wildlife includes muskox, caribou, arctic hare, arctic fox, snowy owl, raptors, polar bear, seal, seabirds, and waterfowl. Land uses include trapping, hunting, and fishing. Cambridge Bay and Holman are the largest settlements. The population of the ecoregion is approximately 1500.

This ecoregion is part of the Northern Arctic ecozone.