| Climate | Geology and geography
| Flora and fauna | Humans
The Hudson Plains stretch from Manitoba to Quebec along the southern
edge of Hudson Bay.
Canada contains a quarter of the world's wetlands, and the Hudson Plains
ecozone's poor drainage has resulted in the largest continuous wetlands
in the world. Hudson's Bay moderates the temperature in summer, but
the ice that covers it in winter prevents most of this; average summer
temperatures are 11ºC, but in winter the average temperature is -18ºC.
Precipitation ranges from 400mm in the northwest to 800mm in the southeast.
The terrain here is flat, and the poor drainage encourages the creation
of wetlands and bogs. Palaeozoic and Proterozoic sedimentary bedrock
slopes gradually towards Hudson Bay.
Vegetation here follows two basic patterns. The first ranges from north
to south; in the north, the terrain is treeless tundra, but in the more
southern taiga trees appear, getting thicker as one keeps moving south.
The second pattern follows altitude. Because the drainage here is poor,
trees are only found at the drier higher altitudes, while the lower
altitudes lack trees. This results in belts of trees following the ridges
in striking patterns. Some characteristic tree species are black
and trembling aspen.
Other plants include eriacaceous shrubs, cottongrass, sphagnum moss,
northern Labrador tea, lapland rosebay, black
crowberry, blueberry, cloudberry,
arctic aven, purple saxifrage, prickly saxifrage, lousewort, reindeer
moss, and caribou lichen.
Diversity is highest in summer, when migrating birds appear in huge
numbers to breed. The region is more famous for its biting insect population,
which takes advantage of the poor drainage to breed in huge numbers.
A single hectare is estimated to be able to produce ten million black
flies, no-see-ums and other biting insects!
Characteristic large herbivores include caribou,
goat, and California
bighorn sheep. Large carnivores that are found here include black
The small herbivores include hoary
ground squirrel, brown
The small carnivores of the Hudson Plains include coyote,
red fox, arctic
red bat, and
Some aquatic mammals that can be found are bearded
seals, beluga, and bowhead
Some of the characteristic birds of prey are northern
hawk, common nighthawk,
and merlin. Shorebirds
and seabirds that are found here include semipalmated
and yellow rail.
The songbirds of the region include Stellar’s
crow, rusty blackbird,
and tree swallow.
Waterfowl such as Canada
black duck, northern
American black duck,
and ring-necked duck
are found here. Birds of the forest include blue
flicker, and downy
Amphibians and Reptiles
Three frog species that live in the Hudson Plains are the striped
chorus frog, northern
leopard frog, and wood
Predators such as lake sturgeon, brook trout, northern pike, and walleye
prey on such species as lake herring, lake whitefish, lake chub, pearl
dace, and ninespine stickleback.
Both the muskeg
stagnicola and arctic-alpine
fingernail clam can be found here.
The Hudson Plains are notorious for their populations of biting insects.
A lack of timber and minerals means that tourism and subsistence activities
are the means by which the 10 000 people who live here make their living.