Labrador and the Eye of Quebec

Caribou, a Nickel Mine, High Tides, and Meteor Craters

I. Map boundaries: 50 to 60 degrees North; 56 to 70 degrees West

II. Country and Administrative Subdivisions: Canada (Newfoundland and Labrador including Nunatsiavut; Nunavut-part of Qikiqtaaluk Region; Quebec including Katavik Regional Government, Cote-Nord Administrative Region)

III. Overview

To the north of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the wilderness of Quebec and Labrador begins. There are mountains near the coast of Labrador and the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and plateaus in a central lake area. Lowlands are around Ungava Bay. This region is home to the George River caribou herd, one of the great wildlife migrations, which is undertaken by several hundred thousand animals. The 5,000-mile migration extends from the coast of Labrador to James Bay (west of the map area). This map area is also home to two large First Nations territories—Kativik in Quebec and Nunatsiavut in Newfoundland and Labrador. Continue reading

Cape Horn and the Falklands

Avenue of the Glaciers at the End of the World; Goldman Sachs Gets in Park Business; Tame Wolf Noted by Darwin Goes Extinct

Map boundaries: 50 to 60 degrees South; 56 to 70 degrees West

Countries: Argentina (Santa Cruz, Tierra del Fuego, Burdwood Bank), Chile (Region XII-Magallanes), United Kingdom (Falklands overseas territory)


At the southern tip of South America, the Patagonian grasslands meet the southern beech forests. Santa Cruz province of Argentina and the northern and eastern parts of Tierra del Fuego are covered by Patagonian grassland and semiarid vegetation. Tierra del Fuego was given its name by Fernando de Magellan, who referred to the fires lit by Indians along the coast of the Straight of Magellan. The native people’s name for Tierra del Fuego was Karukinka, which is the name of a new natural park managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society and donated by Goldman Sachs. Continue reading

Ural Mountains and Turgay Plateau

Waterfowl, Mountain Meadows, and Nuclear Legacy

Map of the Month: Ural Mountains-South, Turgay Plateau, and Ishim Steppe

Map boundaries: 50 to 60 degrees North; 56 to 70 degrees East

Countries: Kazakhstan (Akmola, Aktobe, Karagandy, Kostanay, and North Kazakhstan) and Russia (Bashkortostan Republic, Chelyabinsk, Kurgan, Orenburg, Perm Territory, Sverdlovsk, Tyumen, Khanti Mantsia Autonomous Region)


This map area marks the transition from the Central Asian Desert to the vast boreal forest that covers northern Europe and Asia. In between are the steppes, which in this area contain patches of forests. The European and Asian steppes are separated by the forested Ural Mountains. East of the Urals in Chelyabinsk and Sverdlovsk are areas affected by the legacy of nuclear weapons production. The boreal forest is separated from the steppe by a band of deciduous forest. East of the Urals, thousands of lakes and wetlands dot the steppe, deciduous, and boreal forest, providing vital habitat for waterfowl in a dry region. The Turgay Plateau is a major watershed boundary, separating north-flowing polar rivers from the temperate Volga or Caspian Sea drainage to the west. To the south of the plateau, the Irghyz and Turgai rivers evaporate in the Central Asian desert. Continue reading