Map of Boreal Cordillera Ecozone



The Boreal Cordillera is located in the North-West portion of Canada, combining both the northern section of B.C. and southern area of Yukon. This region borders are Alaska to the North and the Pacific Ocean to the West. It is roughly 432,000 km² in area and is comprised mostly of mountainous regions. It has little precipitation in the West and an abundance of snow in the East. The Boreal Cordillera is a mining industry with various minerals within its region. The portions of this region which are flat have plentiful life, such as moose, caribou, birds and various mountain animals. Even small forested areas are found on these flatter locals.


The Boreal Cordillera is a very mountainous region. Being covered by the Rocky Mountains, there is little flat land in which vegetation can grow and thrive. There are also valleys that were carved by ice that can be found at distant points throughout the area whereupon streams and rivers flow freely. The debris from these mountains has also developed a rolling landscape, which is the only area, other than plateaus and valleys where life can easily be sustained. These mountains further prevent most life on the West side since they block out the vast majority of precipitation on that side.



The Boreal Cordillera consists primarily of igneous rocks and metamorphic rocks. This is primarily due to the Rocky Mountains that cover most of the area which were created by volcanic activity and plate shifting. Volcanic activity creates the igneous rocks and plate shifting creates the heat and pressure required to form metamorphic rocks. Copper, gold, lead, molybdenum, silver, tungsten and zinc are minerals that are found and mined inside the Boreal Cordillera.


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The Boreal Cordillera region is vastly covered by a variety of vegetation ranging from shrubs to extensive forests. These areas of flora are comprised of white spruce, black spruce, alpine fir, murray pine, trembling aspen, balsam poplar and paper birch, ranging greatly in sizes to make the shrub filled and forested areas. These trees are not forested, harvested or farmed even though they grow throughout the whole year. Small areas of plants live on the mountains which include: moss, lichens and small meadows on the plateaus. Also there are small, nutrient rich valleys that contain rivers in which agriculture can be sustained. This is were most residential areas are located as well.
The soil in the region has very diverse properties. On the slopes of the mountain there is almost no soil whatsoever and the rest of the mountain is completely rock. The lower ranges of the region are littered with debris and various parts of smaller plants. This variety of materials makes the subsoil very rich because most of the minerals are washed further into the soil by water and various fluids, leaving the topsoil with little nutrients. This means that plants without deep-reaching roots cannot survive, further limiting the variety of flora that can survive in this area.


The precipitation in the Boreal Cordillera differs greatly from the West to the East. This occurs since the mountains are in the center of the region and block out most of the precipitation that is coming into the West from continental polar air masses. Thus the West is dry with a maximum of 300mm of precipitation per year. Unlike the East, which is not protected by mountains and receives approximately 1500mm of precipitation, most of which will fall as snow, due to the extremely low temperatures of the Northern area. The average minimum temperature is -18 degrees Celsius, whereas in the summer months the temperature may spike to approximately 15-20 degrees Celsius.



1. Whitehorse is the capital of Yukon in this region.
2. This region contains ¾ of the territories population.
3. Contains the largest city in the three territories.
4. Has one of the most famous national parks in Canada, the Kluane.
5. The First Nations people have a significant say in managing the environment here.
6. The anatum peregrine falcon is threatened in this area.



Test Questions

1. The Boreal Cordillera is located between the Yukon and Alberta borders? True or False? FALSE
2. The Rocky Mountains block the majority of precipitation from reaching the West portion of this region? True or False? TRUE
3. List at least three types of flora found within the Boreal Cordillera?
White spruce, black spruce, alpine fir, murray pine, trembling aspen, balsam poplar and paper birch
4. What types of rocks are found within the Boreal Cordillera and what landform is the primary source of these two types of rocks? Metamorphic rocks and igneous rocks are from the Rocky Mountains.

5. What type of animal life is found in the Boreal Cordillera and which animal is threatened?
Moose, caribou, birds and various mountainous animals are found in the Boreal Cordillera region.
The Anatum peregrine falcon is threatened
in this region.


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