This ecoregion is composed of islands, exposed headlands, and protected inlets, from Napaktok Bay
south to the Strait of Belle Isle. The climate of the region is characterized by short, moist,
cool summers and long, cold winters. The mean summer temperature is 7°C and the mean winter
temperature is -13.5°C. The mean annual temperature is around -3.5°C. The mean annual
precipitation ranges from 600 mm in the north to over 1000 mm in the south.
Moist, sheltered valley slopes provide ideal conditions for white spruce forests with a
moss understory. Coastal heath exists along headlands and ridges. Marine terraces are
suitable for salt marshes and plateau bogs. High areas have exposed bedrock, with lichens
and mosses growing on sheltered lee slopes and in small cracks. Scrubland consisting of
alder, dwarf birch, and Labrador tea dominate in areas subjected to fires. Deeply incised
U-shaped valleys occur in conjunction with steep-sided, rounded mountains and fjords
extend well inland. Large bogs can be found south of Davis Inlet, and salt marshes occur
on large marine terraces. Permafrost occurs in isolated patches.
The ecoregion provides important habitat for migratory seabird colonies, as well as
areas for seal whelping. Caribou live on the shore and islands south of Groswater Bay.
Hunting, trapping, fishing, and outdoor recreation are common activities. Oil and mineral
exploration has recently become a major activity in the region. For example, Voisey's Bay,
the site of one of the Canada's largest nickel deposits, is located here. The communities
of Nain, Makkovik, Hopedale, Cartwright, and Davis Inlet contain most of the ecoregion's
©2002, Trevor Bell