Hudson Bay Lowlands

Hudson Bay Lowlands, the northernmost ecozone in Ontario.








General description


The northernmost ecozone in Ontario encompasses almost 25% of the province, and is located north of the Precambrian Shield where limestone bedrock underlies the area along the coasts and inland from Hudson Bay and James Bay. Moosonee, Moose Factory, Attawapiskat, Fort Albany, Kashechewan, Peawanuck and Fort Severn are located in this ecozone.


Ontario’s largest protected area, Polar Bear Provincial Park, is located in the north of this ecozone along the coast. It is the only ecozone in Ontario that is adjacent to and influenced by salt water and tides. Wetlands are the predominant vegetation type, with intertidal marshes in areas that are occasionally flooded by very high tides or storms. Extensive sedge fens are present along the coast and among the inland coniferous forests Lichen-heath tundra occurs on drier areas near the Hudson Bay coast and open spruce-lichen woodland (taiga) develops on coalescent palsa plateaus and along abandoned marine beach ridges inland from the coast.

A spruce-dominated forest facade develops along major river corridors and river levees support balsam poplar woodland. Major human activities in this region include fishing, hunting and trapping. Mineral exploration and mining is increasing substantially. The Moose river system has been altered by hydro-electric development.



Examples of Species found in this Zone:


Mammals: Woodland Caribou, Moose, Black Bear, American Marten, Polar Bear, Arctic Fox, Beluga
Plants: Rock Sedge, Glasswort, Elephant-head
Insects: Melissa Arctic Butterfly, Arctic Blue
Birds: Sandhill Crane, Greater Yellowlegs, Lesser Yellowlegs, Solitary Sandpiper, Blackpoll Warbler, Snow Goose, Hudsonian Godwit, Willow Ptarmigan
Fish: Brook Stickleback, Brook Trout, Northern Pike, Walleye





Ministry of Natural Resources