At least 40% of Canada's landscapes are a part of the Arctic, which hosts globally significant wildlife populations and over 130,000 people. The Canadian Arctic is home to iconic wildlife, breeding migratory birds, and many species at risk. This sums to more than 21,000 known species living in the Arctic, each possessing a remarkable set of adaptations which help them to survive in this extremely cold and variable climate. Within these frigid ecosystems, there are also many indigenous settlements which rely on rich biodiversity to maintain food security and culture.
The Arctic is currently under increasing pressure from climate change and resource development. Extreme temperatures and limited accessibility have protected Arctic biodiversity thus far, allowing ecological processes to occur mostly undisturbed. This is now changing as the Arctic enters a new age of human activity. Increased human interference, along with climate change, threaten Arctic biodiversity. Canada currently faces a unique opportunity to conserve large ecosystems across the Arctic, in order to protect these extraordinary species.
Within our website, we will provide information on species taxonomy, interesting facts, and refer locals to useful resources. Arctic organisms have been organized into five categories: Polar Plants, Polar Animals, Polar Fungi, Polar Protista, and Polar Bacteria. Please click each category within the graphic below to explore the vast diversity of Arctic species.