Baffin Island , located in Nunavut , is the largest island in Canada and the 5th largest island in the world.The area has 507 451 km2, 1500 km long and 200-700 km wide and it’s separated from Greenland by Davis Strait and Baffin Bay, from northern Quebec by Hudson Strait.
Nunavut’s capital, Iqaluit ,formerly known as Frobisher Bay ,is located on Baffin Island and is home to 5236 people
The topography of the island is highly varied, ranging from the most rugged mountains to the flattest lowlands of the Canadian Arctic. Raised Canadian Shield forms mountain ranges along the east coast, while the relief slopes downwards to the west to form a flat-bedded Paleozoic sedimentary basin.
Baffin Island, the largest island in the Arctic Canadian Archipelago, is subjected to prevailing northerly winds that keep average temperatures at about minus 8.5C, well below similar Arctic locations at a comparable latitude.
Interesting thing to know is that instead of cooling at a rate of minus 0.2C every 1,000 years ,a trend that was expected to continue for another 4,000 years because of well-known changes to the Earth’s solar orbit , Baffin Island, like the rest of the Arctic, has begun to get warmer, especially since 1950. The Arctic is now about 1.2C warmer than it was in 1900, confirming that the region is warming faster than most other parts of the world. This is happening due to the global worming process.
Baffin Island has both year-round and summer visitor wildlife. On land, examples of year-round wildlife are barren-ground caribou, polar bear, arctic fox, arctic hare, lemming and arctic wolf.
Summer land visitors to Baffin Island all have wings and all come to nest. Baffin Island is one of the major nesting destinations from the Eastern and Mid-West flyways for many species of migrating birds. The island is the nesting ground for millions of birds
Water species that visit Baffin Island in the summer are:
- Harp Seals
- Walrus, which actually do not migrate far off land in the winter
- Beluga or white whales migrate along the coast of Baffin Island
- Narwhals, which are known for their long, spiraling tusks (males only), can also be found along the coast of Baffin Island in the summer.
- Bowhead Whale is the largest summer visitor to Baffin Island
Sports and activities
Baffin Island is increasing in popularity amongst the BASE jumping community . Baffin Island is considered to be a hotspot due to a wide array of 900 to 1,200 m (3,000 to 3,900 ft) tall cliffs scattered around the island one of them being Mount Thor.