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Ecological Framework of Canada
Ecoregions of Canada


This unglaciated ecoregion incorporates the area of wetlands and oriented lakes that occupy a glaciolacustrine plain that makes up the lowest portion of the Old Crow Basin. This level, low-relief ecoregion, locally referred to as "The Flats" lies at about 300 m asl. The climate is strongly continental. Mean monthly air temperature ranges are as extreme as anywhere in North America. Short, warm summers contrast with long, very cold winters. The mean annual temperature for the area is approximately -10°C with a summer mean of 7.5°C and a winter mean of -27°C. Mean annual precipitation ranges 200-250 mm. This ecoregion is classified as having a high subarctic ecoclimate. Characteristic wetlands cover most of the ecoregion and are made up of polygonal peat plateau bogs with basin fens and locally occurring shore fens. Organic Cryosols are the most common wetland soils. Better drained portions of the land support open, very stunted stands of black spruce and tamarack with minor quantities of white spruce and ground cover of dwarf birch, willow, ericaceous shrubs, cottongrass, lichen, and moss. Static Cryosols on sandy alluvial material and Turbic Cryosols on loamy, ice-rich lacustrine material dominate the mineral soils of the ecoregion. Permafrost is continuous with a high ice content in the form of ice wedges and massive ice bodies. Characteristic wildlife includes caribou, grizzly and black bear, moose, beaver, muskrat, fox, wolf, hare, raven, rock and willow ptarmigan, and bald and golden eagle. The Old Crow Flats are important for native hunting, trapping, and fishing. The eroding banks of the Old Crow and Porcupine rivers have yielded large quantities of Pleistocene vertebrate fossils and have been the object of much scientific study over the last twenty years. Old Crow is the main community in the ecoregion. The population of the ecoregion is approximately 300.

This ecoregion is part of the Taiga Cordillera ecozone.