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Topic – Canada’s Ecosystems

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Canada’s Ecosystems

Canada can be divided up into regions, depending on their climate, soils and the plants and animals that live there. These areas are known as ecosystems.

Canada’s West

Coastal Great Bear Rainforest, British Columbia, Canada

“Canada’s Gnarliest Tree” near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island

On the coast of British Columbia is the Coastal Rain Forest. Trees grow as tall as skyscrapers in the moist conditions here. Just inland from that region is the Western Cordillera. It extends slightly into Alberta and covers most of the Yukon Territory. This region is made up of several mountain ranges. Plants tend to be low to the ground here and this is where you’ll find animals such as marmots and golden eagles.


Central Canada

Canada’s boreal forest

Canadian prairies

The Boreal Forest covers almost half of Canada in a wide band roughly around Hudson Bay. There are forests of spruce and aspen trees here, as well as rivers, lakes and bogs. Beavers, foxes, deer and moose live here. Below the Boreal Forest, across southern Alberta, southern Saskatchewan and into Manitoba is the prairie. This dry plain is covered with grasslands. Today, it’s planted with huge wheat crops. You can still find gophers and pronghorn antelope here. The country’s smallest ecosystem is the Carolinian Woodlands along Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. This is one of the warmest regions.


Down East

Laurentian Woodlands

Acadian Woodlands

In southern Ontario, southern Quebec and into New Brunswick is the Laurentian Woodlands. Maple and oak trees live here with many birds nesting in them. Most of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are in an ecosystem called the Acadian Woodlands. It’s a combination of woodland and ocean ecosystems. You’ll find pine trees and pitcher plants here, as well as whales off the coast.


Up North

Canada’s tundra

Taiga lake and forest

Taiga covers most of the Northwest Territories, a southern corner of Nunavut, northern Quebec and northern Labrador. This ecosystem has swampy areas of dwarf birch and willow. But mixed in are drier areas of small trees, such as trembling aspen and black spruce. Martens and wolverines are some of the animals here. Across the north of Canada is the vast, treeless tundra. The climate is cold and dry with only small, hardy plants surviving here. Animals such as Arctic hare, Caribou and muskoxen live here.


Pine Marten






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