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Ecological Framework of Canada
Ecoregions of Canada


This ecoregion occupies the hills and pediment slopes that surround the Old Crow Basin in northwestern Yukon. The landscape is characterized by generally flat to gently rolling terrain lying within the unglaciated Porcupine Plain and Old Crow Range. The ecoregion has a strongly continental climate despite its proximity to the Beaufort Sea. The mean annual temperature for the area is approximately -9.5°C with a summer mean of 7.5°C and a winter mean of -26°C.  Mean annual precipitation ranges 200-300 mm. This region is classified as having a high subarctic ecoclimate. Open, very stunted stands of black spruce and tamarack with secondary quantities of white spruce and ground cover of dwarf birch, willow, ericaceous shrubs, cottongrass, lichen, and moss, are predominant. Tussock tundra vegetation covers most gentle slopes. Permafrost is continuous with medium ice content. Turbic Cryosols found on loamy, gently sloping pediments and on clayey lacustrine material are dominant in the ecoregion. Regosolic Turbic and Regosolic Static Cryosols occur on river floodplains. Wetlands cover much of the ecoregion. Characteristic wetlands are polygonal peat plateau bogs with basin fens and locally occurring shore fens. Characteristic wildlife includes caribou, grizzly and black bear, moose, beaver, fox, wolf, hare, raven, rock and willow ptarmigan, and golden eagle. Chum and Chinook salmon spawn in the Porcupine River and its tributaries. Land uses are predominantly subsistence activities of the people of Old Crow and include hunting, fishing, and trapping. Recreation and tourism are becoming increasingly important with the advent of Vuntut National Park in the northern portion of the ecoregion.

This ecoregion is part of the Taiga Cordillera ecozone.