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Ecological Framework of Canada
Ecoregions of Canada


This ecoregion incorporates the northern Rocky Mountains and the Muskwa Ranges in northern British Columbia. The mean annual temperature for the area is approximately -0.5°C with a summer mean of 11.5°C and a winter mean of -13°C. Mean annual precipitation ranges from 500 mm in the lower elevations and surrounding plateau up to 800 mm at higher elevations and in the mountain passes. The ecoregion is a complex of alpine vegetation, consisting of dwarf shrubs such as willow and birch, alpine grasses, sedges, Dryas spp., mountain avens, and bare bedrock at elevations above the treeline; willow and birch shrubs along with alpine fir and white spruce dominating subalpine forests; and closed canopied forests of lodgepole pine, and white and black spruce dominating the boreal forests at lower, warmer, elevations. The rugged Muskwa Ranges are broadest and highest around Mount Churchill at 3200 m asl in elevation, and a number of glaciers occur around the higher peaks. Sporadic discontinuous permafrost containing low ice content occurs throughout the ecoregion. Bedrock outcrops are common. Soils range from Turbic Cryosolic and Regosolic soils in alpine terrain; to Humo-Ferric Podzols and Dystric Brunisolic with some Cryosolic, Organic, and Gleysolic soils in subalpine terrain; and to Gray Luvisolic and Dystric Brunisolic soils in warmer boreal sections of the region. Characteristic wildlife includes moose, elk, Stone's sheep, caribou, and mountain goat. Grizzly bear, black bear, and wolf are common throughout the valleys. Wolverine and lynx are also common. Land use includes hunting and recreation in alpine and subalpine areas, and forestry, forage production-based agriculture, and tourism in the warmer boreal sections of the ecoregion. Muncho Lake is the main settlement. The population of the ecoregion is approximately 30.

This ecoregion is part of the Boreal Cordillera ecozone.