Strait of Belle Isle
This ecoregion occupies the northern tip of the Northern Peninsula. It is
characterized by cool summers and cold winters. The mean annual temperature is
approximately 2.5°C, with a mean summer temperature of 10°C and a mean
winter temperature of -5.5°C. The mean annual precipitation ranges from
900 mm to 1100 mm. During the spring, the Strait of Belle Isle is blocked by ice
which is carried southward by the Labrador Current. Fog is very common year-round.
The predominant vegetation includes dwarfed patches of white spruce with an
understory of mosses. White spruce is more common along the coast, whereas
black spruce and tamarack are more common inland. Moss and lichen cover exposed areas.
There are coastal lowlands and a section of Newfoundland's highlands in this
ecoregion. The lowlands are dominated by sloping bog plateaus. The uplands are
covered with sandy and
colluvial deposits, along with acidic
till. Elevations range from sea level to
about 630 m above sea level. Wetlands cover more than one quarter of the ecoregion.
Many birds use this ecoregion on their migratory route. It also provides suitable habitat
for caribou, arctic hare, rock ptarmigan, Atlantic puffin, and geese. The first known
European colony in the North America was a settlement at L'Anse aux Meadows, established
approximately 1000 years ago by the Norse. The major communities include St. Anthony and
©2002, Trevor Bell