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Ecological Framework of Canada
Ecoregions of Canada


This large ecoregion extends from the eastern coast of Hudson Bay to Ungava Bay south of the Povungnituk Hills in northern Quebec. The mean annual temperature is approximately -7°C with a summer mean of 3.5°C and a winter mean of -17.5°C. The mean annual precipitation ranges 400-500 mm. This ecoregion is classified as having a low arctic ecoclimate. It is characterized by a nearly continuous cover of low arctic shrub tundra vegetation, consisting of dwarf birch, willow, northern Labrador tea, Dryas spp., and Vaccinium spp. The southern portion of the region has a mix of tundra vegetation and open, dwarf coniferous forest. Much of the ecoregion lies above 200 m asl and has an undulating surface with elevations that can reach about 500 m asl. Massive Archean granites and gneisses are widely exposed, and thin, discontinuous veneers of glacial drift are common over most of its surface. Occasional beach and marine deposits occur in coastal areas previously occupied by postglacial seas. Abundant small lakes cover approximately 20% of the area. A large portion of the region drains eastward to Ungava Bay via the aux Feuilles and Arnaud rivers, as well as westward to Hudson Bay by the Povungnituk and Kogaluc rivers. Bare rock outcroppings are common in the ecoregion, and Turbic Cryosols are the dominant soils along with inclusions of Organic Cryosols. Permafrost is continuous with low ice content. Drift ice and fog persist for long periods in the summer along both the Hudson Bay and Ungava Bay coasts. Characteristic wildlife includes caribou, wolverine, snowshoe hare, fox, walrus, seal, whale, polar bear, raptors, shorebirds, and waterfowl. Dominant land uses include trapping, hunting, and fishing. Settlements include Inukjuak, Aupaluk, and Povungnituk. The population of the ecoregion is approximately 3300.

This ecoregion is part of the Southern Arctic ecozone.