Energy, Mines and Resources

Oil and Gas Resources

Biophysical Descriptions – South-East Yukon

South-East Yukon Ecozones and Ecoregions
The Southeast Yukon Oil and Gas Region includes both the Boreal Cordillera Ecozone and the Taiga Plain Ecozone.

  • Boreal Cordillera Ecozone  4.4 MB
    This ecozone is an extension of the boreal forest zone that stretches across the continent from the Atlantic coast. It is modified within the cordillera by strong gradients of elevation, temperature and precipitation over short distances. Two ecoregions are found within this oil and gas region, the Liard Basin and the Hyland Highland.
    • Hyland Highland Ecoregion  475 KB
      During the Late Pleistocene, glaciers blanketed much of this ecoregion leaving it with fine-textured morainal and well defined, sandy, gravelly glaciofluvial deposits. Most of the ecoregion drains into the Liard River through south flowing tributary rivers. Permafrost is relatively rare and thermal springs and associated vegetation are found. The area is dominated by coniferous forests and home to moose, black bear, grizzly bear, and woodland caribou.
    • Liard Basin Ecoregion  442 KB
      The Liard Basin Ecoregion consists of low hills seperated by broad plains surrounded by mountains and plateaus. The low elevation, moderate precipitation and relatively long, warm summers result in vigorous forest growth, most notably in the floodplains of the Liard, Meister, Frances, Hyland and Coal rivers. The extensive boreal forest provides prime habitat for moose, marten, snowshoe hare and lynx. Thousands of sandhill cranes migrate through the region each spring and fall, following the Frances and Liard valleys.
  • Taiga Plain Ecozone  1 MB
    The Taiga Plain Ecozone is represented in the Yukon by portions of three ecoregions, the Muskwa Plateau Ecoregion in the extreme southeast of Yukon and the Peel River Plateau and Fort McPherson Plain ecoregions in the northeast. All three of these regions essentially lie east of the main ranges of the Western Cordilleran and have climatic and physiographic conditions that are distinctly different from the rest of the Yukon, although the Muskwa Plateau Ecoregion is ecologically more representative of boreal than taiga (subarctic) conditions.
    • Muskwa Plateau Ecoregion  333 KB
      The Muskwa Plateau is centred in northern British Columbia/Alberta and extends into the extreme southeast corner of the Yukon. It is the only representation in the Yukon of northern boreal conditions east of the Cordillera. A low frequency of forest fires results in a distinct forest composition. This is augmented by the meeting of four major vegetation domains, resulting in a unique assemblage of plant species.

Source: Smith, C.A.S., Meikle, J.C. and Roots,C.F. (editors), 2004. Ecoregions of the Yukon Territory - Biophysical Properties of Yukon Landscapes. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, PARC Technical Bulletin 04-01, Summerland, British Columbia, pages 89 to 256.