Owing to its northerly position a large part of Ungava is treeless, and belongs to the barren grounds where caribou roam and feed on the socalled caribou moss, a greyish lichen.
The caribou, moose, antelope, mountain sheep, beaver, otter and mink are scarce.
Section of the state was originally a favourite hunting-ground of the Indians, for here in abundance were the moose, caribou, deer, wolf, bear, lynx, otter, beaver, fox, sable, mink, musk-rat, porcupine, wood-chuck, ruffed grouse and pigeon.
These were rapidly reduced in number by the white man, the wild pigeons are extinct, and the moose, caribou, bear, wolf, lynx and beaver have become rare, but, under the protection of laws enacted during the latter part of the 19th century, deer and ruffed grouse are again quite plentiful.
Warbler, olive-backed thrush, three-toed woodpecker, spruce grouse, and Canada jay; within this zone in the North-eastern states are a few moose and caribou, but farther north these animals are more characteristic of the Hudsonian zone.
Beyond this to the north are the " barren grounds " on which herds of caribou (reindeer) and musk ox pasture, migrating from north to south according to the season.
In early days the placer gold mines of the Columbia, Fraser and Caribou attracted miners from everywhere, but these have declined, and lode mines supply most of the gold as well as the other metals.
The larger animals of Canada are the musk ox and the caribou of the barren lands, both having their habitat in the far north; the caribou of the woods, found in all the provinces except in Price Edward Island; the moose, with an equally wide range in the wooded country; the Virginia deer, in one or other of its varietal forms, common to all the southern parts; the black-tailed deer or mule deer and allied forms, on the western edge of the plains and in British Columbia; the pronghorn antelope on the plains, and a small remnant of the once plentiful bison found in northern Alberta and Mackenzie, now called " wood buffalo."
Northern Ontario is still a valuable fur-bearing and hunting country, moose, caribou, fox, bear, otter, mink and skunk being found in large quantities.
Reindeer, or caribou, constitute the genus Rangifer, and are large clumsily built deer, inhabiting the sub-Arctic and Arctic regions of both hemispheres.
Mr Madison Grant considers that American reindeer, or caribou, may be grouped under two types, one represented by the barrenground caribou R.
Tarandus arcticus, which is a small animal with immense antlers characterized by the length of the beam, and the consequent wide separation of the terminal palmation from the brow-tine; and the other by the woodland-caribou (R.
Caribou), which is a larger animal with shorter and more massive antlers, in which the great terminal expansions are in approximation to the brow-tine owing to the shortness of the beam.
See Madison Grant, "The Caribou," 7th Annual Report, New York Zoological Society (1902); J.
Of these three classes, and of other than purely zoological interest, are mosquitoes, which swarm in summer in the interior in vast numbers; sea fowl, which are remarkably abundant near the Aleutians; moose, and especially caribou, which in the past were very numerous in the interior and of extreme economic importance to the natives.
The destruction of the wild caribou has threatened to expose the Indians to wholesale starvation, hence the effort which the United States government has made to stock the country with domestic reindeer from Siberia.
The rapid exhaustion in late years of the caribou, seals and other animals, once the food or stockin-trade of the Aleuts and other races, threatens more and more the swift depletion of the natives.
The state has moose, caribou and deer, especially in the northern part.