In the taiga, a forest that stands strong despite harsh and freezing cold weather conditions is home to many animals that live in the taiga. Adapting to their surroundings, living a way of life that only exists in one area of the world the taiga biome is full of incredible animal species that have created their own survival tactics and techniques to maintain a healthy, well-working ecosystem within a habitat of freezing temperatures, frozen soil, and wetland. Taiga animal facts will help you to understand about the regions in the world we are blind to see.
WHAT IS THE TAIGA?
In order to understand more about taiga animals, we first need to understand the taiga actually is. The taiga is a rainforest situated in the northern hemisphere in between the tundra in the South of the Arctic circle. However, places like Alaska, Canada, and Siberia also have taigas as well as Russia which has the largest Taiga in the world. They are areas that have freezing cold temperatures for most of the year with only a few short days of ‘summer’ where plants can grow they are known for their frosted over soil and snow-covered trees.
ANIMALS FOUND IN TAIGA
Taiga forest animals range from some of the biggest to some of the smallest in the world. taiga boreal forest animals include many mammals with thick layers of fur such as hares and moles as well as much bigger mammals like bears and wolves. The small herbivores mammals often have white coats for camouflage and feed off of the little plant life that exists in the taiga whereas the larger mammals are predators feeding off smaller animals by hunting them as prey. There are very small amounts of birds found in the taiga as they all migrate to warmer climates during the freezing cold months but often return during the warmer part of the year. You could find owls and eagles which feed off the large increase of insects that inhabit the taiga during the warmer months, allowing the birds to feed off of them.
The taiga wildlife includes bears, black bears, and grizzly bears are most commonly found in the Taiga. They survive the harsh conditions because of their extremely thick layered fur coats which protects them from feeling the effects of the freezing cold climate. The bears feed off plants, leaves, and even twigs as well as leftover carcasses and smaller prey. They hibernate in the winter months which saves them from having to look for food during the most difficult period in the Taiga biome. They can reach incredibly fast speeds which are rare considering their massive size and weight, its adapted claws also allow the ability to climb trees and create spaces to hide during hunting attempts.
The Siberian taiga in particular is home to the largest wild wolf called the Gray Wolf. These Siberian taiga animals usually travel in packs that vary in size and are one of the best-suited animals for taiga survival. The insulated fur coats keep them warm during even the coldest months and allow them to scavenge and hunt for food sources with ease. Their large paws grip the snow, making it easy for them to run at fast speeds without slipping, this along with their impeccable sense of smell, hearing, night vision and stamina makes these wolves some of the greatest predators that live in the Taiga. They face no predatorial threats and are thus considered top of the food chain as they feed off moose and deer as well as rodents when there is a shortage. They are one of the most important parts of the entire taiga ecosystem as their only threat is humans, and with their only need being food and their ability being so efficient they allow stronger animals to prey on the weak to keep the ecosystem alive and thriving.
ANIMALS ADAPTATIONS IN THE TAGIA
Because of the severity of the weather conditions and the extremely cold temperatures the taiga fauna doesn’t grow much instead a layer of permafrost forms under the soil that remains completely frozen with all the dead plants and materials making it almost impossible for life to grow. This means not only to animals have to adapt to their surroundings but also to the way they source food since there is such little vegetation. The use of camouflage is an important adaptations animals need to survive, it is a way to protect themselves from predators and a way to hunt prey without being noticed. Animals in the taiga also have many physical adaptations such as the length of their ears, the structure of their paws, and claws for gripping through the snow and their fur and hair length. All these adaptions are an imperative part of surviving the conditions of the taiga.
TAIGA ANIMAL LIST
We have already discussed a few of the animals that can be found in the taiga but there are many many more and some of these include
- Siberian Tiger
- Bald eagle
ENDANGERED ANIMALS IN THE TAGIA
Unfortunately, the Taiga is no stranger to animal endangerment and extinction. The Siberian Crane is said to be critically endangered this is because of the expansion of the building of dams in China which is removing the habitat where these beautiful birds live, killing their environment, and in turn, their population numbers of these Cranes have only been declining. The Amur Leopard is another example of an endangered animal living in the taiga and unfortunately, there are only about 30 left in the wild due to the unsustainable and harsh conditions of the forest. The European Mink is a species that was once found in many habitats all over Europe, however, they can now only be found in northern Spain and the west of France making them endangered and facing threats of extinction due to excessive overhunting and habitat destruction.
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