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Ecological Framework of Canada
Ecoregions of Canada


This ecoregion takes in the eastern half of the Bear-Slave Upland south of Coronation Gulf. Much of the upland surface is composed of unvegetated rock outcrops that are common on the Canadian Shield. The mean annual temperature is approximately -10.5°C with a summer mean of 6°C and a winter mean of -26.5°C. The mean annual precipitation ranges 200-300 mm. This ecoregion is classified as having a low arctic ecoclimate. Numerous lakes fill its lowlands. Vegetative cover is characterized by shrub tundra, consisting of dwarf birch, willow, northern Labrador tea, Dryas spp., and Vaccinium spp. Depressional sites are dominated by willow, sphagnum moss, and sedge tussocks. Scattered stands of spruce occur along the southern boundary of the ecoregion. The region consists mainly of massive Archean rocks that form broad, sloping uplands, plateaus, and lowlands. Bathurst Hills form a prong of rugged ridges that reach about 610 m asl and stand as much as 185 m above nearby lakes. Turbic and Static Cryosols have formed on thin discontinuous sandy morainal and fluvioglacial materials, and in association with rock outcrops, dominate the uplands. Organic Cryosols are the dominant soils in the lowlands. Permafrost is deep and continuous with low ice content throughout the majority of the region, although the ice content along the west side of Bathurst Inlet is low to medium. The ecoregion has high mineral development potential and considerable exploration activity has taken place. Characteristic wildlife includes caribou, muskox, grizzly bear, hare, fox, wolf, raptors, shorebirds, seabirds, and waterfowl. Land uses include subsistence trapping and hunting.

This ecoregion is part of the Southern Arctic ecozone.