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Northern Davis Region

Northern Davis Region


The Ice Age still grips this region of jagged peaks, deep fiords, looming glaciers and massive ice caps. But there is also a delicate beauty here ... pastel tundra flowers, soft mossy meadows, sparkling streams of glacial melt-water.

Bylot Island
Bylot Island


Ice and rock reign supreme in this natural region. The northern portion of the region is blanketed by thick ice caps and glaciers, smoothing the unevenness of the bedrock below. Tongues of ice touch the sea, calving glaciers into dark waters.

Mt. Thor, Auyuittuq National Park Reserve
Mt. Thor,
Auyuittuq National Park Reserve

The east coast of Baffin Island presents a different face. This is a land of spectacular mountains, glaciers, deep fiords and the massive Penny Ice Cap. Here can be found classic alpine glacial scenery, the best in Canada and, in the opinion of some climbers, the best in the world.

A third face of this natural region is seen on western Baffin Island, where the mountains slope down to meet the coast in a low lake-studded coastal plain. In contrast to the east side, the coast is low, and broad intertidal flats are typical. The southern part of Baffin Island presents a fourth face - a high rocky plateau.


Vegetation ranges from very patchy and open to lush tundra meadows. The broken rock of glacial moraines supports a scanty cover of lichens, with mosses and cushion plants such as moss campion, purple saxifrage and mountain avens nestling in the low spots. Cushion plants can thrive in the harsh Arctic environment by creating their own micro-climate. The temperature within the dense mass of leaves is several degrees higher than the ambient temperature. The fragile-looking arctic poppy sends its cheery yellow flower up to 30 centimetres above even the most barren areas.

In the southern areas of Baffin Island, lush tundra vegetation is found. Arctic shrubs such as dwarf birch, willow, heather, and blueberry and their berry-bearing kin form a continuous colourful carpet in sheltered valleys. On less favourable areas, tundra covered by tussocks of grasses and sedges makes for one of the most difficult walking surfaces known.


National Parks System Plan, 3 rd Edition

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