Home » Regions » North America » Northern Forests » Boreal Plain

Boreal Plain

Page contents

To check where a specific point lies, you can look it up in our Ecoregion Locator.

Map Legend & Subregion List

This list will help you navigate the regions in case you have problems with viewing or clicking the interactive map above.

NameColor on MapCEC Code‡
Mid-Boreal Uplands and Peace-Wabaska Lowlands5.4.1
Clear Hills and Western Alberta Uplands5.4.2
Mid-Boreal Lowland and Interlake Plain5.4.3

† Status: ✓ = Complete ○ = Needs Image … = Incomplete ∅ = Stub Only

This code refers to the CEC's Level 3 ecoregion codes for North America, see here.


Partially Complete
With Images
Complete w/ Images

Get involved! You can help our ecoregion articles progress faster. Help us find photos of these regions. Contact us if you have any additions or corrections to any of these articles. You can also donate to support our ongoing work.

About the Boreal Plain

The Boreal Plains are an ecozone in Canada (corresponding to a Level II ecoregion in the US) extending westward from Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba, into much of central Alberta and Saskatchewan. This region can be seen as the northernmost extension of the Great Plains, but it is classified as part of the Northern Forests due to higher forest cover.

This region consists of plains and low-lying valleys. Although rainfall is low, cold temperatures reduce evaporation and result in abundant water availability for the growth of forests as well as agricultural uses. Most of the land is covered by coniferous forest, with relatively few hardwoods. There are some lakes and wetlands, and bogs on poorly-drained sites. Fire is frequent, playing a major role in the ecosystem dynamics.

The remoteness of this area from human population centers has resulted in less resource extraction than in many parts of Canada. There is, however, extensive forestry in the area, and fire suppression and habitat fragmentation have become issues of concern.

To the north, this region opens up to the more barren Taiga Plain. To the west, it is bordered by the mountainous Western Cordillera. To the south lies the beginning of the Temperate Prairies, which are milder in temperature, but more open due to lower moisture levels. To the east lies the Softwood (Boreal) Shield, the region most similar to this one among its neighbors.