4 Northern Arctic


The eco zone that we are doing is the Northern Arctic. The Northern Arctic is the eco zone the furthest to the north in Canada. It isn’t very developed and has a low population. The population is low because of the amount of jobs that are available to people there.

There aren’t many different type of vegetation in the Northern Arctic because of the harsh climate. The plants that are there are all very low, ground hugging plants. There are only 140 species of plants in the Northern Arctic. High winds and shallow soils in the Northern Arctic Eco zone make it vary difficult for plants to attach and root. The Vegetation there include…
1. Arctic Poppy
2. Purple Saxifrage
3. Mountain Avens
4. Moss Campion
5. Arctic Daisy
6. Crustose Lichens
7. Arctic Willow
8. White Arctic Heather
9. Arctic Bladder Campion
10. Yellow Oxytrope
11. Sedges
12. Cotton Grass
13. Mastodon Flower
14. Arctic Lousewort
15. Mountain Sorrel
16. Pygmy Buttercup
17. River Beauty
18. Chickweed
Also the Northern Arctic is above the tree line, which means that no full size trees can grow.

Human Activities

There aren’t many human activities in the Northern Arctic because there is a small population and it isn’t a very developed part of Canada. The activities in the Northern Arctic may include tent ring, camping, mining, trapping, fishing and hunting. The population is only 20 451 with only 20 communities, this is one of the causes of the low amount of activities.

Rocks and Minerals

The rock types in the Northern Arctic are Paleozoic and Mesozoic sedimentary rock. Precambrian granite makes up most of the bedrock, mostly towards the east of the eco zone.

Landform Region

The Northern Arctic has a rock desert. Most of it is made up of plains or slightly rolling terrain. Though towards the east there are more rocky hills and plateaus.

Climate and Climograph

The climate in the Northern Arctic is very harsh. It has long winters and short summers. The summers have an average temperature of -1.5 degrees Celsius. This means that it can snow at any time of the year. It only has an average precipitation of 200mm of precipitation, which because of the temperature that is mostly snow. It is cold and dry all year round. The snow is most likely to stay on the ground from September to June. In the Northern Arctic there is very long winters, from January to July. The temperature in the winter ranges from -30 degrees Celsius to -35 degrees Celsius. The average temperature is -14 degrees Celsius. This causes the Northern Arctic to be the coldest and driest landscape in the Arctic and the harshest environment in Canada.


The soil in the Northern Arctic is very poor. The soil there is mostly permafrost and tundra soils. Tundra soil has frozen subsoil and is black and mucky.

Fun Facts

-Covers 1.5 million square kilometers, which is approx. 1/7th of Canada’s land
-Mostly aboriginals live there
-It is classified as a polar desert


All of the animals that live in the Northern Arctic are very adapted to the cold. They can withstand the snow and high winds. The animals that live there include…

1. Long-tailed Jaeger
2. Glaucous Gull
3. Muskox
4. Short-tail Wease or Ermine
5. Horned Lark
6. Collared Lemming
7. Black-bellied Plover
8. Ruddy Turnstone
9. Red Phalarope
10. Oldsquaw
11. Brant
12. Snow Goose
13. Arctic Hare
14. Peary Caribou
15. Polar Bear
16. Snowy Owl
17. Arctic Fox
18. King Eider
19. Red-throated Loon





Clark, Bruce, John Wallace, Kim Earle Making Connections Canada’s Geography Second Edition
Quentin, Stanford Canadian Oxford Atlas Eighth Edition