Geography by province and territory
The geography of Canada is vast and diverse. Occupying most of the northern portion of North America (41% of the continent), Canada is the world's second largest country in total area after Russia. Canada spans an immense territory between the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Arctic Ocean to the north (hence the country's motto "From sea to sea"), with the United States to the south (contiguous United States) and northwest (Alaska), and the Arctic Ocean to the north; Greenland is to the northeast. Off the southern coast of Newfoundland lies Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, an overseas collectivity of France. Since 1925, Canada has claimed the portion of the Arctic between 60°W and 141°W longitude to the North Pole; however, this claim is contested. Canada's abundance of natural resources is reflected in their continued importance in the economy of Canada. Major resource-based industries are fisheries, forestry, agriculture, petroleum products and mining.
The flora of Canada is quite diverse, due to the wide range of ecoregions and environmental conditions present in Canada. From the warm, temperate broadleaf forests of southern Ontario to the frigid Arctic plains of the Northern Canada, from the wet temperate rainforests of the west coast to the arid deserts, badlands and tundra plains, the biodiversity of Canada's plants is extensive. About 4,100 species of vascular plants are native to Canada, and about 1,200 additional non-native species are recorded as established outside cultivation there.
The fauna of Canada is considered to be diverse across Canada, ranging from lush forests of British Columbia, to the prairies of Western Canada, to the tundra of the Northern Canada. With a large land mass, and small population density, the wildlands of Canada provide important habitat for many animals, both endangered and not. Canada is home to approximately 70 000 known species of plants and animals - and perhaps many more that have yet to be discovered.
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The Arctic Cordillera
is a vast, deeply dissected chain of mountain ranges
extending along the northeastern flank of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago
from Ellesmere Island
to the northeasternmost part of the Labrador Peninsula
in northern Labrador
and northern Quebec
. It spans most of the eastern coast of Nunavut
with high glaciated peaks rising through icefields and some of Canada's largest ice caps, including the Penny Ice Cap
on Baffin Island
. It is bounded to the east by Baffin Bay
, Davis Strait
and the Labrador Sea
while its northern portion is bounded by the Arctic Ocean
The range is mostly located in Nunavut but extends southeast into the northernmost tip of Labrador and northeastern Quebec. The system is divided into a series of ranges, with mountains reaching heights more than 2,000 m (6,562 ft). The highest of the group is Barbeau Peak on Ellesmere Island at 2,616 m (8,583 ft), which is the highest point in eastern North America. The system is also one of Canada's three mountain systems, the others being the Western Cordillera of Western Canada and the Canadian extension of the Appalachian Mountains into the Gaspe Peninsula and Atlantic Provinces.
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(Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus
) is a subspecies
of the caribou
that is found mainly in the Canadian
and the Northwest Territories
and western Greenland
. On the mainland of Canada, the animals may travel in herds of several thousand but on the islands, they move in smaller groups (no more than 50).
It sometimes includes the similar porcupine caribou, in which case the barren-ground caribou also is found in Alaska. It is a medium sized caribou with the females weighing around 90 kilograms (200 lb) and the males around 150 kilograms (330 lb).
Like the Peary Caribou, both the males and females have antlers. In general, during the summer, the coat of the caribou is brown, and much lighter in the winter. The neck and rump tends towards a creamy-white colour. However, the general colouration may differ depending on the region.
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Did you know? -
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Gros Morne National Park
is a world heritage site
located on the west coast of Newfoundland
. At 1,805 km2
(697 sq mi), it is the second largest national park
in Atlantic Canada
(surpassed by Torngat Mountains National Park
at 9,600 km2
or 3,700 sq mi).
The park takes its name from Newfoundland's second-highest mountain peak (at 2,644 ft/806 m) located within the park. Its French meaning is "large mountain standing alone," or more literally "great sombre." Gros Morne is a member of the Long Range Mountains, an outlying range of the Appalachian Mountains, stretching the length of the island's west coast. It is the eroded remnants of a mountain range formed 1.2 billion years ago. "The park provides a rare example of the process of continental drift, where deep ocean crust and the rocks of the earth's mantle lie exposed."
The Gros Morne National Park Reserve was established in 1973. It wasn't until October 1, 2005 that the National Parks Act was applied to the reserve, thereby making it a Canadian National Park.
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) is a rhizomatous perennial flowering plant
in the bellflower family
native to temperate
regions of the Northern Hemisphere
In Scotland, it is often known as the Bluebell, whereas elsewhere in Britain, "bluebell" refers to Hyacinthoides non-scripta. The species is very variable in form. It occurs as tetraploid or hexaploid populations in Britain and Ireland, but diploids occur widely in continental Europe. Harebells flower in late summer between July and October, sometimes into November, and are found on dry, nutrient-poor grassland and heaths in Britain, throughout Northern Europe and in North America. Once established, the plants compete with tall grass, but the minute seedlings need a clear space in which to establish. The plant often successfully colonises cracks in walls or cliff faces, but is also prominent in dunes.
Geography of Canada category
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