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Canadian Arctic Tundra

Canadian Arctic Tundra
Nunavut tundra -c.jpg
Tundra in Nunavut
Canadian tundra 1.jpg
Canadian Tundra
Realm Nearctic
Biome Tundra
Animals Mammals, migratory birds
Elevation max. 2,500 m (8,200 ft)
Coordinates N:83°4′N 74°10′W / 83.067°N 74.167°W / 83.067; -74.167
S:62°22′N 79°38′W / 62.367°N 79.633°W / 62.367; -79.633
E:66°37′N 61°17′W / 66.617°N 61.283°W / 66.617; -61.283
W:72°2′N 125°37′W / 72.033°N 125.617°W / 72.033; -125.617
Oceans or seas Arctic Ocean, Atlantic Ocean
Rivers Mackenzie River
Climate type ET
Soil types colluvial, morainal, permafrost
Habitat loss Arctic fox, polar bear, caribou%

The Canadian Arctic tundra is a biogeographic designation for Northern Canada's terrain generally lying north of the tree line or boreal forest, that corresponds with the Scandinavian Alpine tundra to the east and the Siberian Arctic tundra to the west inside the circumpolar tundra belt of the Northern hemisphere.

Canada's northern territories encompass a total area of 2,600,000 km2 (1,000,000 sq mi), 26% of the country's landmass that includes the Arctic coastal tundra, the Arctic Lowlands and the Innuitian Region in the High Arctic. Tundra terrain accounts for approximately 1,420,000 km2 (550,000 sq mi) in Yukon, the Northwest Territories, in Nunavut, north-eastern Manitoba, northern Ontario, northern Quebec, northern Labrador and the islands of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, of which Baffin Island with 507,451 km2 (195,928 sq mi) is the largest.

Canada's tundra is characterized by extreme climatic conditions with year-round frozen grounds, long and cold winters, a very short growing season and low precipitation rates.

Northern Canada is the traditional home of indigenous Inuit peoples, who for most of their settlement history occupied the coastal areas of Nunavut, northern Quebec, Labrador and the Northwest Territories. Population numbers remain very moderate for the entire region and as of 2006 around 50% of the inhabitants are of indigenous descent.

Geographic extremes for Canada's Arctic tundra
North - South maximum latitudal extent

North: Cape Columbia 83°4′N 74°10′W / 83.067°N 74.167°W / 83.067; -74.167 to South: Flaherty Island 56°37′N 79°12′W / 56.617°N 79.200°W / 56.617; -79.200

East - West maximum longitudal extent

East: Baffin Island 66°33′N 61°17′W / 66.550°N 61.283°W / 66.550; -61.283 to West: Herschel Island 69°35′N 139°2′W / 69.583°N 139.033°W / 69.583; -139.033

  • Northern Arctic
  • Southern Arctic
  • continuous permafrost (underlying 90 to 100% of the landscape)
  • discontinuous permafrost (50 to 90%)
  • sporadic permafrost (0 to 50%)
  • reduced leaf size to minimize water loss to wind
  • fuzzy hair-like structures or alternatively grow in mats to protect themselves from snow and wind damage
  • often extensive root systems to store nutrients for the long and harsh winter months.
  • Mammals that lived on the land masses of Northern Canada, able to survive in the polar deserts are the polar bear (Ursus maritimus), and the Arctic fox (Alopex lago pus). Recent statistics show there are 26,000 polar bears worldwide, of which two of the three largest sub-populations are found in the Canadian Arctic. The Arctic fox is abundant today throughout the Canadian Arctic with a population of approximately 100,000 individuals.
  • Mammal species that existed on the tundra before the Beringia land bridge are the Arctic hare (Lepus arcticus) and diverse lemming species (Dicrostonyx spp.) and muskox (Ovibus moschatus).
  • Mammals absent from the tundra before the Beringia land bridge but widespread in other parts of North Canada are the caribou (Rangifer tarandus), wolf (Canis lupus) and ermine or stoat (Mustela ermine). Approximately, 3 million caribou are found in the Canadian Arctic. There is a dynamic relationship between the caribou and wolves, as the caribou is the main and practically exclusive source of food for wolves.
  • Mammals living in open habitats with forest, that continued breeding during the Beringia land bridge consist of the masked shrew (Sorex cinereus) and the northern red-backed vole (Myodes rutilus).
  • Mammals that lived in open habitats with forests. The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and wolverine (Gulo gulo) were originated in forests and not being able to preserve their population in the north of Canada.
  • Mammals now common on the tundra but not existent before the Beringia land bridge occurred. These mammals consist of the Arctic ground squirrel (Spermophilus parryii) and North American brown lemming (Lemmus trimucronatus).
  • Migrating mammals from Eurasia that crossed the Beringia land bridge and adapted to the tundra climate and environment. These mammals consist of the brown bear (Ursus arctos) and the tundra vole (Microtus oeconomus).
  • Collaborating with Provinces and Territories
  • Investing in Clean Energy and Clean Technology
  • Youth engagement
  • Paris Agreement
  • Habitat loss
  • Competition
  • Population collapse of prey species.
  • Angerbjorn, A., Hersteinsson, P., & Tannerfeldt, M. (2004). Arctic fox (Alopex lagopus). In C. Sillero-Zubiri, M. Hoffmann, & D. Macdonald (Eds.), Canids: Foxes, Wolves, Jackals and Dogs (pp. 117–123). Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK: Hofgaard, A. & Harper, K. (2011). Hofgaard, A. & Harper, K. (2011). Hofgaard, A. & Harper, K. (2011). Hofgaard, A. & Harper, K. (2011). Hofgaard, A. & Harper, K. (2011)./SSC Canid Specialist Group.
  • Hund, A. (2014). Antartica & The Arctic Circle. Santa Barbara: Abc-Clio, Llc All.
  • Rausch, R (1953). "On the status of some arctic mammals". Arctic. 6 (2): 91–148. doi:10.14430/arctic3870. 


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