Taiga is the Russian word for forest, and it is the largest biome in the world. It stretches over Eurasia (mostly Russia) and North America. It is near the top of the world, just below the tundra biome. Winters in the taiga are freezing with abundant snowfall. Inhabitants hunt for the game by setting up traps and ice fishing to survive during the winters.
Coniferous forests consisting mostly of pines, spruces, and larches characterize the taiga biome. The biome makes up 29% of the world’s total forestry. There is a beautiful documentary called “Happy People: A Year in the Taiga (2010).” The story shows the natives, whose daily routines have barely changed over the last centuries. They keep living their lives according to their cultural traditions.
Taiga supports a relatively small range of animals due to the harshness of the climate. Canada’s boreal forest includes 85 species of mammals, 130 species of fish, and an estimated 32,000 species of insects. Insects play a critical role as pollinators, decomposers, and as a part of the food web. Many nesting birds rely on them for food during the summer months.
The large herbivorous mammals include moose and reindeer (caribou), deer species like elk or wapiti and roe deer, bears, and wood bison. The wood bison lives in northern Canada, Alaska and they have been newly introduced into the Russian Far East.
Small mammals include rodent species such as beavers and squirrels. North American Small mammals of the taiga biome include rodent species such as beavers, squirrels, North American porcupines, voles, snowshoe hares, and mountain hares.
Predatory mammals of the taiga biome include Canada lynx, Eurasian lynx, stoat, Siberian weasel, least weasel, sable, American marten, North American river otter, European otter, American mink, wolverine, Asian badger, fisher, gray wolf, coyote, red fox, brown bear, American black bear, Asiatic black bear, and Siberian tiger. In small areas of the taiga, you will also find polar bears.
In summary, Taiga is an extreme place that demands to be explored but should remain undisturbed.
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