Home | Ecozones | Southern Arctic
Ecological Framework of Canada
Ecoregions of Canada


This ecoregion occurs along the mainland shore of Coronation Gulf and along the shores of Bathurst Inlet and adjacent offshore islands. The mean annual temperature is approximately -12.5°C with a summer mean of 4°C and a winter mean of -28°C. The mean annual precipitation ranges 125-200 mm. Coastal portions of the ecoregion, particularly the islands, are moderated by open water during the late summer and early fall. This ecoregion is classified as having a low arctic ecoclimate. It is characterized by a nearly continuous cover of shrub tundra vegetation. Dwarf birch, willow, and alder occur on warm, dry sites; poorly drained sites are dominated by sphagnum moss and sedge tussocks. Bathurst Hills are composed of down-faulted, folded sediments and sills that lie within, and extend south from Bathurst Inlet between higher upland areas of massive granite rocks. The softer rocks have been eroded and in many places lie submerged beneath bays and channels, leaving the harder members more than 300 m asl in elevation. Marine silts and reworked deposits from the marine overlap mantle some of the lower parts along the coast. Some rugged peaks reach 610 m in elevation, standing as much as 185 m above nearby lakes. Rock outcrops and Turbic and Static Cryosolic soils (developed on thin sandy glacial tills) are characteristic of the region. Permafrost is continuous with low to medium ice content, except in the northeastern part of the ecoregion on the Kent Peninsula, where it has medium to high ice content in the form of ice wedges. This ecoregion provides important summer range for caribou and breeding habitat for snow and Canada goose and other waterfowl. Other characteristic wildlife includes moose, red and arctic fox, snowshoe hare, arctic ground squirrel, masked shrew, lemming, wolf, lynx, weasel, snowy owl, shorebirds, seabirds, raptors, seal, whale, walrus, and polar bear. Land uses include fishing, trapping, hunting, and tourism. There are no sizable permanent settlements in the ecoregion, however a total population of 18 is reported.

This ecoregion is part of the Southern Arctic ecozone.