Nature & Geography
The lands and sea of Nunatsiavut are the foundations of our communities. Our ancestors have always found everything they needed to survive on the land and in the sea around them, including food, medicine, shelter, clothing, and tools.

Plants and animals

There is an abundance of wild animals and plants that live on the lands and in the seas of Nunatsiavut. These plants and animals have always sustained our communities. This intimate knowledge of wildlife provides a great opportunity to take visitors out to view the wildlife of the region.

Some of the animals you might expect to see include:

  • Caribou, polar bears, black bears, seals, porcupine, hares, and lynx
  • Salmon, arctic char, trout, capelin, and snow crab
  • Eagles, hawks, geese, ducks, grouse, and ptarmigan

Plant life is also varied and abundant, with many berries such as blueberry, partridgeberry, cloudberry, and raspberry growing in the region, as well as a variety of wild orchids.


Nunatsiavut is home to some breathtaking wild spaces. Comprising 72,520 square kilometers (roughly the same size as the entire province of New Brunswick), the majority of Nunatsiavut is pristine, wild space. Rivers are fed by glaciers and animals can be found in abundance. Mainland Canada's highest mountains east of the Rockies are found in the Torngat Mountains, in the northern section of Nunatsiavut.

There are a variety of distinct ecological areas in Nunatsiavut, including:
  • Arctic Alpine Tundra - found in the northern areas of Nunatsiavut, this ecological zone is dominated by rock and open ground with patches of moss, lichens, and meadows. No tall shrubs or trees grow here. Very mountainous with dramatic fjords.
  • Subarctic Tundra Tundra - found in the majority of Nunatsiavut, especially in the Nain area, this zone is mountainous and dominated by rock and open ground, with black spruce forests in the valleys.
  • Coastal Barrens Barrens - found along the Nunatsiavut coastline, this zone is characterized by long, sheltered coastal inlets featuring spruce forests in the valleys and shrub barrens on the higher ground.
  • Boreal and Subarctic Forest • Boreal and Subarctic Forest - found in the southern ranges of Nunatsiavut, this area supports fairly productive forests of black spruce and balsam fir, with some hardwoods..

All the ecological zones of Nunatsiavut are very sensitive due to thin soils, limited vegetation, and a harsh climate.
Did you know?

The George River caribou herd in Labrador and Quebec has dropped by half from 2013 to 2015 with an estimated population of just over 10,000 remaining.