Taiga Animals

The taiga, alternately called the boreal forest, snow forest, or coniferous forest, is the Earth’s second coldest biome after the tundra. The primary difference between the taiga and tundra is that the former abounds in conifers like spruce and pine, while the latter lacks trees. The taiga area encompasses Canada, Siberia, Scandinavia, Alaska, northern Scotland, and Kazakhstan. Russia has the largest taiga of the world stretching to around 3,600 miles.

 Despite the adverse living conditions, animal life in the boreal or taiga forest isn’t sparse. The taiga ecosystem supports quite a few wildlife that has adapted well to the harsh living conditions. The boreal forests of Canada comprise around 85 mammals, 130 fish species, and as many as 32,000 insects. Reptiles, and amphibians find it challenging to survive in the cold climate. Around 300 birds have their nesting grounds in the taiga, of which only 30 of them stay in the winter too. The remaining population migrate southwards to spend the colder months.

Taiga Animals

List of the Different Types of Animals that Live in the Taiga Biome

Mammals

Birds

  • American Three-toed Woodpecker
  • Aquatic Warbler
  • Black-capped Chickadee
  • Bohemian Waxwing
  • Bufflehead
  • Common Goldeneye
  • Common Loon
  • Common Raven
  • Common Snipe
  • Common Tern
  • Golden Eagle
  • Gray Jay
  • Great Grey Owl
  • Great Spotted Woodpecker
  • Herring Gull
  • Northern Goshawk
  • Northern Hawk-owl
  • Pileated Woodpecker
  • Pine Grosbeak
  • Red Crossbill
  • Red-Throated Loon
  • Rough-legged Buzzard
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk
  • Siberian Thrush
  • Spruce Grouse
  • Steller’s Sea Eagle
  • White-throated Sparrow
  • Whooping Crane
  • Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Fish

  • Alaska Blackfish
  • Arctic Grayling
  • Brook Trout
  • Burbot
  • Chum Salmon
  • Lake Chub
  • Lake Whitefish
  • Longnose Sucker
  • Pygmy Whitefish
  • Round Whitefish
  • Siberian Taimen

Amphibians

Reptiles

  • Common European Adder
  • Common Snapping Turtle
  • Red-sided Gartersnake

Insects

Adaptations of the Taiga Animals

Physical Adaptations

  • To move along the snowy terrain, the feet of animals like the caribou are developed to provide easy and smooth movement. The dew claws or two extended toes of the caribou placed against their large hooves help them walk around comfortably. Their feet also harden in winter, making the skin less exposed to snow. On the other hand, the fleshy pads on the feet of wolves give them a better grip on the snowy terrain.

Behavioral Adaptations

Migration

Migration is one of the significant traits noticed in most of the animals found in the taiga biome. The harsh winters in the taiga are accompanied by a massive drop in temperature and heavy snowfall. To save themselves from the chilling cold, birds like the Canada goose, white-throated sparrow, and Siberian thrush fly southwards as far as Texas and even downwards to Florida. As winter sets in, the caribou also journey southwards in search of lichen and other food sources.

Hibernation

The other survival strategy, aside from migration adapted by some animals in the taiga forest, is hibernation. Bears sleep through the winter, with their body fat acting as energy preserve, helping them go without food during this time. They do not hibernate but enter a state of torpor or inactivity. Rodents like squirrels, chipmunks, and reptiles such as red-sided garter snakes dig burrows or holes underground to spend the winter. The common snapping turtle found along streams, lakes, and rivers takes shelter in the muddy bottom.

Camouflage

Seasonal change in fur or coat color helps animals guard themselves against predators. The brown furs of the snowshoe hare changes to white in winter allowing it to perfectly blend with the snowy surrounding. The dark brown summer coat of the ermine becomes all-white in winter save the black tuft towards the tip of its tail.

FAQs

Q. Which animals are dominant in the taiga region?

A. Bears, minks, squirrels, lynxes, fox

Q. Which animals are there in the Russian taiga?

A. European mink, Aquatic warbler, European otter

Q. Which animals are found in the Canadian taiga?

A. Canada lynx, American black bear, pine marten

Q. Which animals are found in the Siberian taiga?

A. Robin, turtle, dove, rosefinch, falcon, crane, golden eagle