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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The Niagara Falls
are voluminous waterfalls
on the Niagara River
, straddling the international border
between the Canadian province
and the U.S. state
of New York
. The falls are 17 miles (27 km) north-northwest of Buffalo, New York
and 75 miles (120 km) south-southeast of Toronto, Ontario
, between the twin cities
of Niagara Falls, Ontario
, and Niagara Falls, New York
Niagara Falls is composed of two major sections separated by Goat Island: Horseshoe Falls, the majority of which lies on the Canadian side of the border, and American Falls on the American side. The smaller Bridal Veil Falls are also located on the American side, separated from the main falls by Luna Island.
The Niagara Falls are renowned both for their beauty and as a valuable source of hydroelectric power. Managing the balance between recreational, commercial, and industrial uses has been a challenge for the stewards of the falls since the 1800s.
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The Canadian Prairies
is a region
, specifically in western Canada
, which may correspond to several different definitions, natural or political. Notably, the Prairie provinces
or simply the Prairies
comprise the provinces
, and Manitoba
, as they are much covered by prairie
The word prairie usually refers to a type of grassland, and true prairies occur only in the southern reaches of Alberta and Saskatchewan. Contrasted to this are other biomes such as the boreal forest taking up the majority of the Prairie Provinces, or the aspen parkland. However "the prairie" may also refer to all of the Interior Plains region within Canada, in contrast with the Rocky Mountains and Canadian Shield, and is a continuation of the Great Plains region of the United States.
In a more restricted sense, the term may also refer to the areas of those provinces covered by prairie. Prairie also covers portions of northeastern British Columbia, though that province is typically not included in the region in a political sense.
Selected fauna -
(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? -
Selected National Park -
Terra Nova National Park
is located on the northeast coast of the island of Newfoundland
in the Canadian
province of Newfoundland and Labrador
, along several inlets of Bonavista Bay
. The park takes its name from the latin
name for Newfoundland.
Terra Nova's landscape is typical of the northeast coast of Newfoundland, with remnants of the Appalachian Mountains contributing to widely varied and rugged topography throughout the region. The park's seacoast consists of several rocky "fingers" jutting into Bonavista Bay along an area stretching from just north of Port Blandford to the vicinity of Glovertown. The coastline varies from cliffs and exposed headlands to sheltered inlets and coves, contributing to Newfoundland's prime recreational boating area.
Inland areas consist of rolling forested hills, exposed rock faces, and bogs, ponds and wetlands. Wildlife protected by the park range from small to large land mammals, migratory birds, and various marine life. Terra Nova also protects an area containing remnants of the Beothuk Nation, as well as many of the early pioneer European settlements in the region.
Selected flora -
) 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.
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In the news
Casper Star-Tribune Online
Sun, 13 Apr 2014 07:47:54 -0700
They fielded questions about famous museums, physical geography, events in the news, economics, and even the geography of Canada, our giant northern neighbor. The Wyoming state champion is a fifth grader; he's going to represent Wyoming in the ...
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