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Ecological Framework of Canada
Ecoregions of Canada


This ecoregion occurs between Amundsen and Coronation gulfs and the northeast shore of Great Bear Lake. The mean annual temperature is approximately -11°C with a summer mean of 5°C and a winter mean of -26°C. The mean annual precipitation ranges from 200 mm in the northern portion of the ecoregion to 300 mm in southern portions. This ecoregion is classified as having a low arctic ecoclimate. The nearly continuous cover of shrub 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; wet sites are dominated by willow and sedge. The southern boundary of the region has a mix of tundra vegetation and open, dwarf coniferous forest. The ecoregion is composed of large, rounded, low hills and lowlands consisting of Palaeozoic carbonates and stratified, down-faulted, and folded Proterozoic sediments. Surfaces range in elevation 200-600 m asl in Coronation Hills. Turbic and Static Cryosols developed on undulating to ridged glacial tills, fluvioglacial, and marine deposits are the dominant soils in the ecoregion. Organic Cryosols are associated with organic materials composing peat plateaus and high centre polygons. The northern two-thirds of this ecoregion is underlain by permafrost with medium to high ice content in the form of ice wedges, while the southern one-third adjacent to Coronation Gulf is underlain by permafrost with low to medium ice content. Characteristic wildlife includes caribou, moose, grizzly bear, snowshoe hare, fox, wolf, coyote, raptors, seabirds, and waterfowl. Marine species include walrus, seal, polar bear, and whale. Land uses include trapping, hunting, and fishing. Coppermine is the main settlement in the region, and the population of the ecoregion is approximately 1100.

This ecoregion is part of the Southern Arctic ecozone.