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Ecological Framework of Canada
Ecoregions of Canada


This ecoregion takes in the islands and coastal lowlands surrounding Foxe Basin. The mean annual temperature is approximately -11°C with a summer mean of 2°C and a winter mean of -23°C. The mean annual precipitation ranges from 100 mm in the northwest to 300 mm in the southeast. This ecoregion is classified as having a predominantly mid-arctic ecoclimate. It is characterized by discontinuous tundra vegetation such as 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 ecoregion is composed of the flat-lying, Palaeozoic strata that form a very shallow basinlike area on the old surface of the Precambrian Shield. The Putnam Highland to the south of Koukdjuak River, reaches about 180 m asl in elevation. Turbic and Static Cryosols with some Organic Cryosols developed on marine, discontinuous glacial drift and organic deposits are the dominant soils. Permafrost is continuous with medium ice content. Terrestrial mammals include polar bear, common in coastal areas, as well as arctic hare, arctic fox, lemming, and caribou. Representative birds include king eider, rock ptarmigan, northern fulmar, plover, hoary redpoll, and snow bunting. Marine mammals include the walrus, seal, and whale. Land uses in this ecoregion are limited to trapping, hunting, and fishing. The main settlements are Igloolik and Hall Beach. The population of the ecoregion is approximately 1500.

This ecoregion is part of the Northern Arctic ecozone.