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Ecological Framework of Canada
Ecoregions of Canada


This ecoregion extends from Fort Good Hope on the east side of the Mackenzie River to Willowlake River south of Great Bear Lake. It is marked by cool summers and long, very cold winters. The mean annual temperature is approximately -6.5°C. The mean summer temperature is 10.5°C and the mean winter temperature is -23.5°C. The mean annual precipitation ranges from 225 mm in the eastern portion of the ecoregion to less than 400 mm in the west. The ecoregion is classified as having a low subarctic ecoclimate. Vegetation is dominated by open stands of black spruce with an understory of dwarf birch, Labrador tea, lichen, and moss. Drier and warmer sites tend to have more white spruce, paper birch, and some aspen. Wet sites are usually covered with bog-fen vegetation such as dwarf black spruce, Labrador tea, ericaceous shrubs, and mosses. The Norman Range forms a series of north-south-trending, linear, relatively low ridges, largely of resistant Palaeozoic carbonates, and reaching elevations of about 1040 m asl. Great Bear Plain, composed of Cretaceous strata, has a rolling surface generally below 500 m asl. The surface of the ecoregion is covered with steeply sloping to undulating glacial drift, colluvium, and organic deposits in the form of polygonal peat plateaus. Turbic and Organic Cryosols, as well as Eutric Brunisols, are the dominant soils. Permafrost is extensive and discontinuous with low to medium ice content, and is characterized by sparse ice wedges. In the area northeast of Fort Good Hope, ice wedges and pingo ice are more abundant. Characteristic wildlife includes caribou, moose, grizzly and black bear, wolf, coyote, beaver, snowshoe hare, muskrat, and red fox. Common birds include spruce grouse, raven, and osprey. Land uses include hunting, trapping, recreation, and tourism. The principal communities are Fort Good Hope and Deline. The population of the ecoregion is approximately 1200.

This ecoregion is part of the Taiga Plains ecozone.