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Ecological Framework of Canada
Ecoregions of Canada


This mid-arctic ecoregion covers the lowland coastal fringes of Somerset Island, Wales Island and the Boothia, Simpson, and Brodeur peninsulas surrounding the Gulf of Boothia. The mean annual temperature is approximately -15°C with a summer mean of 0.5°C and a winter mean of -29°C. The mean annual precipitation ranges 100-200 mm. This ecoregion is classified as having a mid-arctic ecoclimate. It is characterized by discontinuous upland tundra vegetation, dominated by purple saxifrage, Dryas spp., and arctic willow, along with alpine foxtail, wood rush, and saxifrage. Wet areas have a continuous cover of sedge, cottongrass, saxifrage, and moss. The region slopes gently southward, ranging from sea level to about 300 m asl.  Its general uniformity from southern Somerset Island to Wales Island is continuous across the wide Gulf of Boothia. Regosolic Turbic Cryosols with Regosolic Static Cryosols are dominant soils that have developed on morainal and marine sediments. Permafrost is continuous with medium ice content and abundant ice wedges. Characteristic wildlife includes caribou, polar bear, muskox, arctic fox, ptarmigan, seabirds, seal, whale, and walrus. Land uses include trapping, hunting, and fishing. The main settlement is Pelly Bay, and the population of the ecoregion is approximately 400.

This ecoregion is part of the Northern Arctic ecozone.