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Ecological Framework of Canada
Ecoregions of Canada


This ecoregion covers the Belcher Islands which occur off the coast of Quebec in Hudson Bay. The mean annual temperature is approximately -5.5°C with a summer mean of 5.5°C and a winter mean of -18.5°C. The mean annual precipitation is approximately 500 mm. This ecoregion is classified as having a high subarctic ecoclimate. The ecoregion falls along the latitudinal limits of tree growth. Open, very stunted stands of black spruce and tamarack with secondary quantities of white spruce and ground cover of dwarf birch, willow, ericaceous shrubs, cottongrass, lichen, and moss, are predominant. Poorly drained sites usually support tussocks of sedge, cottongrass, and sphagnum moss. Tall shrub tundra, usually consisting of dwarf birch and willow, is also common. The ecoregion is formed by a range of hills projecting through the waters of Hudson Bay. The hills are composed of resistant Proterozoic sedimentary and volcanic rocks elaborately folded into long, curved, hairpin-shaped structures. Higher summits reach about 122 m asl in elevation and are truncated by an old erosion surface. Bedrock outcrops are common, and Turbic and Static Cryosolic soils developed on level to undulating morainal and marine deposits occur in the ecoregion. Permafrost is extensive and discontinuous with low to no ice content. Characteristic wildlife includes caribou, moose, black and polar bear, wolf, red fox, snowshoe hare, beaver, raven, osprey, shorebirds, seabirds, waterfowl, seal, walrus, and whale. Land uses include hunting and fishing. The major community of the Belcher Islands is Sanikiluaq. The population of the ecoregion is approximately 500.

This ecoregion is part of the Southern Arctic ecozone.