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Ecological Framework of Canada
Ecoregions of Canada


This ecoregion occurs on the coastal mainland of the Northwest Territories south of Franklin Bay and the Tuktoyaktuk Plain, and encompasses the lower Anderson and Horton rivers. The mean annual temperature is approximately -11.5°C with a summer mean of 4.5°C and a winter mean of -26°C. The mean annual precipitation ranges 150-250 mm. This ecoregion is classified as having a low arctic ecoclimate. The nearly continuous cover of shrubby tundra vegetation consists of dwarf birch, willow, northern Labrador tea, Dryas spp., and sedge tussocks. Tall dwarf birch, willow, and alder occur on warm sites; poorly drained sites usually support tussocks of sedge, cottongrass, and sphagnum moss. Underlain by flat-lying Cretaceous shale, this ecoregion is covered by undulating glacial drift and outwash deposits. Portions of the entrenched Anderson and Horton river channels lie some 60-150 m below the surrounding surface. Turbic and Static Cryosols developed on loamy morainal deposits, and Organic Cryosols formed on high-centred polygons, are the dominant soils. The ecoregion is underlain by continuous permafrost with high ice content in the form of ice wedges and pingos. Characteristic wildlife includes caribou, snowshoe hare, red fox, wolf, arctic hare, and arctic ground squirrel. A variety of birds are present, including raptors, songbirds, ptarmigan, snowy owl, waterfowl, and shorebirds. In the marine environment, species present include walrus, seal, beluga whale, and polar bear. Land uses include trapping, hunting, and fishing.

This ecoregion is part of the Southern Arctic ecozone.