The Geography of Canada Portal
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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Selected fauna -
The North American Beaver
) is the only species
in the Americas
, native to North America
and introduced to South America
. Its other vernacular names, including American beaver
and Canadian beaver
, distinguish this species from the one other extant
beaver, Castor fiber
, native to Eurasia
. ("Canadian beaver" also refers to the subspecies Castor canadensis canadensis
This beaver is the largest rodent in North America and the third largest rodent in the world, after the South American capybara and the Eurasian beaver.
Adults usually weigh 15 to 35 kg (33–77 lbs), with 20 kg (44 lbs) a typical mass, and measure around 1 m (3.3 ft) in total body length. Very old individuals can weigh as much as 45 kg (100 lbs).
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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.
Selected flora -
is a species of flowering plant
of the order Proteales
that is native to North America
. - American Lotus
, Yellow Lotus
, and Water-chinquapin
Like the Asian species Nelumbo nucifera, the Lotus is an emergent aquatic plant. It grows in lakes and swamps, as well as areas subject to flooding. The roots are anchored in the mud, but the leaves and flowers emerge above the water's surface. The petioles of the leaves may extend as much as 2 m (6.6 ft) and end in a round leaf blade 33–43 cm (13–17 in) in diameter. Mature plants range in height from 0.8 to 1.5 m (2.6 to 4.9 ft).
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In the news
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Fri, 29 Aug 2014 14:00:00 -0700
Lunenburg Folk Harbour Society's summer bandstand concert series wraps up Sunday, 2 p.m., with a show by fiddle-and-piano-playing sisters Cassie and Maggie MacDonald. The pair just released their second CD, Sterling Road, on the heels of a ...
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