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Ecological Framework of Canada
Ecoregions of Canada


This ecoregion extends eastward along the arctic slope from Bathurst Inlet to near Chantrey Inlet and is associated with the lowlands south of Queen Maud Gulf. The mean annual temperature is approximately -11°C with a summer mean of 5.5°C and a winter mean of -27°C. The mean annual precipitation ranges 125-200 mm in the southern edge of the ecoregion. This ecoregion is classified as having a low arctic ecoclimate. It is characterized by a cover of shrub tundra vegetation, consisting of dwarf birch, willow, northern Labrador tea, Dryas spp., and Vaccinium spp. Tall dwarf birch, willow, and alder occur on warm sites; wet sites are dominated by sphagnum moss and sedge tussocks. The region is composed of massive Archean rocks that form broad, sloping uplands that reach about 300 m asl in elevation in the south, and subdued undulating plains near the coast. The coastal areas are mantled by silts and clay of postglacial marine overlap. Bare bedrock is common, and Turbic and Static Cryosols developed on discontinuous, thin, sandy moraine, level alluvial, and marine deposits are the dominant soils in the ecoregion. Permafrost is continuous and deep with low ice content. The Queen Maud Gulf Bird Sanctuary covers most of the ecoregion. The sanctuary is an important migratory bird (duck, goose and shore) habitat. Additional wildlife includes caribou, muskox, polar bear, moose, wolverine, hare, fox, raptors, walrus, seal, and whale. The main settlement in the area is Bathurst Inlet and the population of the ecoregion is approximately 50.

This ecoregion is part of the Southern Arctic ecozone.