Animals of taiga forest include 85 species of mammals. Mammals of taiga include herbivores like caribou, reindeer, moose, elk and roe deer. Wood bison, the largest animal of taiga is found in Canada, Alaska and Russian far east. Mammals are the major part of taiga animals.
Some larger animals like bears also live in taiga. These animals eat well in summer to gain weight and go to hibernation during winter.
Kinds of Taiga Animals
Taiga has 85 species of mammals, 130 species of fish and about 300 species of birds nest there. But only 30 of them stay in taiga for winters due to its harsh weather conditions.
According to a survey about 32000 species of insects are found in taiga. Insects play a major role as pollinators and decomposers and in food cycle of taiga.
Many insect eating birds depend on them during summer season. But, most of them fly away to warmer areas during winter to save their lives and find food for themselves.
Reptiles and Amphibians among Taiga Animals
The cold winters and short summers make life difficult for small taiga animals like reptiles and amphibians.
There are only few species of reptiles and amphibian animals in taiga. Red-sided garner snake, blue-spotted salamander, Siberian salamander, two-lined northern salamander, European adder, American toad, Canadian toad, wood frog, northern leopard frog and boreal chorus frog are also among taiga animals.
Most of these reptiles and amphibians go hibernate underground throughout winter.
Fishes are also part of Taiga Animals
Fishes are also part of taiga animals. Fishes living in taiga must be able to withstand in cold water. They should also be able to adapt life under ice-covered water.
Fishes of taiga include lenok, lake chub, Alaska blackfish, walleye, longnose sucker, white sucker, lake whitefish, round whitefish, pygmy whitefish, chum salmon, Siberian taimen, Arctic lamprey, various grayling species, brook trout, northern pike and various species of cisco.
Birds of Taiga
There are over 300 species of birds nesting in taiga. Siberian thrush, white throated sparrow, black throated green warbler migrate towards taiga to eat insects found in enormous bogs and lakes in summers.
Only 30 species of birds stay in taiga for winter. These are only carrion-feeding or large raptors that can take live taiga animals prey.
Golden eagle, rough-legged buzzard and raven are carnivores birds which eat other small taiga animals stay there for winters.
Some species of seed-eating birds like grouse and crossbills also stay in taiga during winter.
Predators among taiga animals
Predators mammals of taiga embrace American mink, European otter, North American river otter, Eastern mole, Eurasian lynx, Canada lynx, stoat, wolverine, sable, least weasel, Siberian weasel. American marten, Asian badger, coyote, grey wolf, fisher, red fox, brown bear, grizzly bear, polar bear, American black bear, Asiatic black bear and Siberian tiger also are part of taiga biome.
Some other taiga animals
Bobcat, bald eagle, European red crossbill, white-winged crossbill and long eared owl also are found largely in taiga biome. Other animals found in taiga are ants, wood wasps, xylophagous beetles and flies.
Beavers built lairs and huts to live and protect them from freezing winter of taiga. They also make canals to reach their feeding places, saving themselves from other predators.
Wolverine, a big predator can climb up and drop unexpectedly at passers by.
Taiga Animals :American black bear
|The American Black Bear, like most bears, lack the distinctive shoulder hump that the Grizzly Bear has. This bear can run up to 25 miles per hour, which is very quick for its 220-594 pound body. These bears are among larger animals of taiga biome. Their feet relate to humans, because they touch the ground in a “heel, toe, heel, toe, etc.” pattern. They have rounded ears, a short stubby tail, and short claws that are useful in climbing trees. The American Black Bear is usually black but can have phases of brown,|
cinnamon, beige and even a bluish- white. The length of this bear’s body is usually 5-6 feet from nose to tail and 32-38 inches from paw to the top of its shoulder. They live in most of North America.
The females of these taiga animals reach sexual maturity 4-5 years after birth, while the male reaches maturity 5-6 years after birth, they usually have 2 or 3 young. Their mating season is in the summer and they will give birth to their young in January or February. The cubs are blind at birth and weigh 8_ ounces to 11_ ounces. The males of these taiga animals do not help raise the cubs, but leave to mate again like most other bear species. The Mother bear can be quite territorial if it involves her cubs. For example, if any other animal of taiga gets between she and her cubs, she will relentlessly attack it until it is dead. The average black bear lives up 25 years.
The black bear’s coat is well adapted to the cold weather of winter because of its many layers of shaggy fur. Claws of these big taiga animals are also very adapted to its environment, this is because they are just the right length to climb the many trees that surround its forest home. Like many other taiga animals this bear also hibernates to avoid having to find food in the winter.
Like most animals the Black Bear looks for food with the highest nutritional value in taiga region. They will eat virtually anything, but 75% of its diet is made up plants and other vegetation, while the other 25% is made up of, carcasses, honey, small mammals, insects and some other taiga animals.
The black bear, like all bears, is a predator, and an omnivore. The black bear helps the environment by killing off the elderly, and weaklings of over populated taiga animals. The black bear is not endangered and is widely distributed throughout most of North America. Black Bear is one of the bigger animals of Taiga forest.
Max S. 2001
Taiga animals : Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle is also known as Fish Eagle and Sea Eagle.
The Bald Eagle is the national bird of the United States of America. It is considered a sea eagle that has a white head. It is large and strong and weighs eight to twelve pounds. Their wingspan can be two meters (seven feet) and they can be larger than a meter from head to tail. The Bald Eagle has a curved beak which is large and very strong. It’s toes have talons which are very strong claws. They have excellent vision which helps them to hunt small animals of taiga.
The Bald Eagle is found over most of the North American taiga but eighty percent of them are in Alaska. They build several kinds of nests that can be very large and can be in trees, on cliffs, and on the ground. These taiga animals change the shape of their nests to fit different trees.
The Bald Eagle prefers to eat dead animals of taiga but will also eat live chickens or fish. They hunt in pairs and will steal food from other Eagles. They do not need to eat every day and will change their diet depending on where they live.
The Bald Eagle is a bird of prey and they attack small taiga animals for food. Some years back they were called an endangered species but as of July 2000 they will changed to a recovered species.
Jai B. 2000.
Taiga animals : Bobcat
The large coniferous forest found in Canada is called the Taiga. There are many swamps, mountains and forests in the Taiga that are home to the animals like Bobcat. Throughout much of the United States these animals live in taiga forests, but can also be found in desserts and chaparral.
A bobcat’s body is about two feet long, and its tail is approximately four to eight inches long. The bobcat gets its name from it’s stubby tail. A bobcat’s weight range is between thirteen and twenty three pounds. These taiga animals stand twenty to twenty four inches tall. A bobcat’s paw print is a little over an inch wide.
The bobcat has two color changes per year. The fur of the bobcat is striped, blotchy, and dense; tawny gray for t
he winter and reddish brown for the summer. The baby bobcat has spotted fur that disappears when they get older.
The bobcat’s head is small and its ears are large. The face of the these wild taiga animals looks a lot like a house cat, but the body is taller and slimmer.
The teeth of these taiga animals are sharp. The canine teeth are long and are used to stab the prey. The back teeth are scissor-like so they can cut through the meat and hide. The bobcat’s claws are designed to help it climb and catch its prey, other small taiga animals. Claws of these taiga animals are very sharp and can be pulled inside their toes.
The bobcat can run very fast, up to 30 miles per hour, but it prefers to walk. The bobcat has a special technique for running fast to catch its prey. It puts its back feet into the front feet’s spot. If the bobcat is walking on leaves and twigs that would make noise. This technique also prevents it from making any sound, and makes it a very quiet hunter for other taiga animals.
Bobcats are loners, and they keep separate territories. The male’s territory can be as big as forty square miles. A male can have two or three females living in his territory. The male mates with all the females. He will father all the litters and he is responsible for feeding the mother and the kittens. Mating season is in the spring and females have two or three kittens each year. The kittens stay with their mother until the fall. These taiga animals are born with their eyes closed and open them when they are ten days old. The young kitten drinks its mother’s milk until about two months old. When they are five months old, the kittens learn to hunt with their mother. The kittens will stay with their mother for six to nine months.
Two adaptations of the bobcat are sharp claws and teeth. Both of these help it hunt. Its fur changes color with the seasons, and helps it blend in with the colors of the season. The bobcat is common in North America, but it is rarely seen due to its camouflage. The bobcat’s ears help it hear the quietest sound of its prey by swiveling front to back. Bobcats have little tufts of fur on top of their ears and this may improve their hearing the same way cupping our hand to our ear catches more sound.
The bobcat is a carnivore. It eats small taiga animals like mice, squirrels, rabbits, and game birds that live on the ground, like grouse. The scissor like teeth help it rip up the meat and eat it. The bobcat sneaks up on its prey, close enough to catch it in one pounce. Jack rabbits are too quick to be caught, so the bobcat eats mostly snowshoe rabbits and hares.
A bobcat is mostly a predator, rarely a prey. It keeps the population of mice, squirrels, rabbits, game birds and small taiga animals down. The bobcat feeds on animals most people think of as vermin.
The bobcat is not endangered, it is on the Least Concern list. About one million live in North America. These taiga animals are so adaptable to different habitats and prey – these animals can live in taiga forests, swamps, mountains, and deserts.
Justin A. 2001
Taiga Animals: Canadian lynx
A not so common animal of taiga is the Canadian lynx. The lynx is almost identical to a regular house cat, but larger. It has a powerful body on short, furry legs attached to hefty feet, and a bobbed, black-tipped tail. Its fur is spotted and yellowish-brown to grey. It has a collar of fur around its face, giving a triangular shape. It also has long black ear tufts.
It is quick and sly, and can strike an animal at any moment. The lynx
mainly hunts snowshoe hares, but also eats meadow voles, small deer, caribou, sheep and some other taiga animals.
It has eyes that provide excellent vision for the night, and it’s feet have fur covered pads and are silent in the snow so it can sneak up on small prey. It isn’t very fast so it has to ambush an animal instead of chasing it down.
These taiga animals can grow up to 2 -4 feet as an adult, and is about 2 feet high in the shoulders. It weighs about 11 – 45 pounds.
The male has a hunting range of about 20 square miles and females have about half that size. It likes to travel alone, and searches up to twelve miles during the night in search of food. In the spring the females of these taiga animals have a litter of four kittens under a log or bush. The kittens are born blind and helpless, and grow slowly. They are weaned at two months but stay with their mother for about a year.
The lynx lives deep in the coniferous forest and mountains of Canada and the northern United States. It can be found scattered through Europe, across northern Asia and Siberia.
There aren’t as many lynxes because their habitats are being destroyed. They are also hunted for their fur and meat. In Europe the lynx has almost been wiped out because farmers think it is a pest and that it kills sheep, goats and other livestock. It is waiting to be put on the endangered list in the United States. With strong laws to protect it the lynx is making a slow comeback.
by Dillon B. 200o.
Gray Wolf : Taiga Animals
Gray wolves can survive in many biomes as long as food is plentiful and the climate is relatively cold. The Siberian Taiga, one of the habitats they are best suited to, is a boreal forest with long, cold winters and short summers. It covers part of northern Russia, the place where wolves are most plentiful. All wolf packs defend a territory, which can greatly vary in size.
The gray wolf is the largest wild canine. They are around 3 feet tall at the shoulder and are about 3 to 5 feet in length from nose to tail tip. Their weight ranges from 40 to 176 pounds. Male wolves
are larger than females. Gray wolves have long legs with large paws. Their tails are long and bushy. They have pointed ears and yellow brown eyes. Their rough coats can be varying shades of gray, brown, white, or black, but in Europe can be grayish brown.
The gray wolf has many special adaptations amongst other taiga animals. Their coats are made up of woolly fur to provide insulation and long guard hairs to keep out moisture. The gray wolf’s large paws have fleshy pads and claws for traction and can spread to provide better support in snow. These taiga animals have a sense of hearing twenty times sharper than a human’s and have a sense of smell a hundred times keener. The wolf’s jaws can deliver a crushing pressure of over 500 pounds per square inch! Wolves’ vision is very motion sensitive. They have a reflective retina, called a tapetum that enhances their night vision. They can’t see color. Wolves have great stamina. They can cover a distance of more than eighteen miles at a quick trot. They have a top speed of about 40 miles per hour.
The maximum lifespan of a wolf is 17 years. Wolves reach sexual maturity at 1 year for females and 2 years for males. Wolves typically mate once every year between January and March. They have a gestation period of about 63 days. The average litter size is 5 or 6, born in a den, such as a rock cavity or a hole in the ground. Wolf pups have a birth weight of about 1 pound. They stay with their mother in the den for 8 weeks before they are weaned. During that time the other wolves bring food for the mother. Wolves are very social animals. They live in groups called packs. A typical pack is lead by an alpha male and female wolf, which are a breeding pair. The other members of the group are their current offspring and young wolves who are the previous year’s litter. There may also be some lower ranking adults. Packs can have as few wolves as 4 or as many as 30. There are also many lone wolves. The largest wolf pack ever recorded was made up of 36 members!
Wolves are carnivores. They eat other taiga animals like moose, caribou, and other deer-like animals. When food is scarce, they will eat rodents. They also scavenge. A wolf can eat 22 pounds of meat at one meal. The pack members will track down a herd and select an old, sick, or young animal. They generally use their stamina to wear down prey in long pursuit, but will also sprint to catch it. The predatory success of wolves is mainly due to the flexibility of their hunting methods. They will flush out their prey, stalk it, or use trickery. No humans have ever been killed by healthy wolves in North America.
The wolf is at the top of the food chain among taiga animals and has no natural enemies. Their only threat is humans. Wolves help keep the ecosystem’s population in check by preying on the weak animals so there will be food for the stronger individuals.
In Canada and Alaska, the gray wolf population is stable. In most of North America, however, they are an endangered species. In Europe, Asia, and Africa, the remaining wolf populations are tiny. The largest wolf population in Europe and Asia is found in Russia, which includes the Siberian Taiga.
by Bonnie E. 2002
Taiga Animals : Grizzly Bear
The Grizzly Bear is a sub-species of the Brown Bear. The only distinctions are that the Grizzly Bear has a silverish shine to its fur, and a strange shoulder hump that all other bears don’t have.
Grizzly Bears have omnivore teeth which lack carnassial or shearing teeth. They instead have molars to grind up plants, which make up a great portion of their diet.
Their body is stout and heavy with
very muscular legs, which allows them to reach speeds of up to 35 miles per hour for a short distance. Another interesting thing is that they walk with a “heel toe” pattern like humans. Their heads are large and round with a dished nose, and small round ears.
A Grizzly Bear’s coat has many color phases that include the following: black, cinnamon, red, blonde, brown or mixes of these colors. Their coat is very shaggy which helps get it through the winter. The brown bear weighs from 330 pounds to 885 pounds and its common length is 4.9 to 8.3 feet. It is usually 3 to 3.5 feet high. Their normal claw length is 3 _ to 4 _ inches long; it is curved and highly useful in climbing trees.
These taiga animals reaches sexual maturity 2-3 years after birth, and its mating season is in the spring to early summer. It gives birth to usually 1-4 young that weigh 1 pound when born. These cubs suckle until April or May, then they are able to follow their mom on hunting trips. The following spring the mother leaves the cubs to mate again. Only the mother raises the cubs, the father leaves after mating. The Grizzly Bear lives up to 25 years, and mates every 2-3 years.
The sharp claws this bear has helps it to dig for its food, and its coat helps it survive long winters in the mountains. Then, before winter, it fattens itself up, and hibernates in caves until late winter or early spring.
The Grizzly Bear eats 200 different kinds of plants that make up 75% of its diet. The other 25% of their diet is made up of, insects, honey, small rodents, mammals, carcasses and other taiga animals. Like all bears it is an omnivore.
The Grizzly Bear is a predator. It helps the environment by reducing the weak and elderly deer population when there are too many.
The Grizzly Bear is endangered in all the U.S. except in Alaska. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are making bear sanctuaries such as Yellowstone State Park.
by Quinn R. 2001
Taiga Animals : Long Eared Owl
|The Long-Eared Owl is a medium sized owl which is approximately 35 centimeters long (around 13 inches) and weighs 8-10 ounces. It is called long eared because of the tuft of feather on its head that look like ears. They do have ears, one which is fifty percent larger than the other and is higher up on the head. This helps them to hear in a special three dimensional way, that helps them to be able to hunt better in the dark. They have yellow eyes, black bills, and a very dark colored throat. They have a round face that is flat. Their face always looks very serious. Their wingspan is 37-40 inches long. They have strong talons for hunting. They turn their head from side to side and can even turn them so far that they|
can see behind themselves. This turning helps them to hear better when they are looking for food. They feed mostly on voles, rodents and other small taiga animals.
The Long-Eared Owl lives in the Boreal forests, or Taiga, from Southern Canada to the middle part of the United States. It sometimes migrates to Mexico in the winter like many other taiga animals but some do not. It is also found in many parts of Europe, Asia. It lives mostly in woodlands and fields but they do not often go deep into the forest. The Long Eared Owl will move into a nest which was abandoned by other large birds. It will lay several eggs, up to seven. Once they are hatched, the owl will raise them for up to sixty days before the young are left on their own. They are nocturnal which means they are awake at night and roost, or are asleep in the daytime.
The Long-Eared Owl’s special hearing allows it to “see” its prey in the dark which makes night hunting more possible. It flies low to the ground so it is easy to drop on its prey.
The Long-Eared Owl plays role of a predator among taiga animals and they are not at the moment on the endangered species list. But they are on the State of Connecticut’s endangered list because of loss of habitat. This happens when houses and roads are built where once the Long-Eared Owl hunted. They are also listed as a species of special concern by the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks for the same reason. They rarely come near people except in bad weather when they may come to a garden to hunt mice and small birds. This makes it hard for them to adapt to living together with people.
by Jai B. 2000
Taiga Animals : Red Fox
Another common taiga animal in the Taiga Biome is the red fox. It can grow up to 2 1/2 feet long, 15 to 16 inches tall at the shoulders, and weigh 10 to 12 pounds. It has a rusty-red fur, a white-tipped bushy tail and black legs, ears and nose. The nose is pointed, and the ears are wide and in the shape of a triangle.
The sly, intelligent fox adapts well to different habitats. It specializes in hunting other small taiga animals such as rabbits and hares. The red fox is very elegant, intelligent and a nocturnal
creature. It usually travels and hunts alone. It is a carnivore. The fox eats small taiga animals and mammals like rabbits and hares.
The female, or vixen, has from 4 to 10 pups early in the spring. The male, or dog fox, will stay around and feed the vixen while she nurses the pups. He will help with teaching them to hunt for a few weeks until they are independent. If the vixen is killed while the pups are young, the dog fox will raise them himself.
These taiga animals usually rests in a burrow during the day that was recently abandoned by larger creatures such as a badger. It ranges from northern America, Canada, Alaska, and northern Europe across to the Pacific Ocean. It’s habitat is in the woodlands, forests, and open country.
The red fox is classified as a nuisance by some because it attacks and eats farm animals like chickens and ducks. These taiga animals are often purposely shot and killed by farmers. They are not endangered.
by Dillon B. 2000
Taiga Animals : River otter
|One of the taiga animals that can be found in the North American Taiga is the river otter. The Taiga is an area that is rocky, a bit icy, and has lots of pine trees. The climate is cold, rainy, and snowy. There isn’t much sunshine. In addition, there are many varied species of plants. River otters inhabit areas that have thick woods, lakes, swamps, rocks, and logs near grassy areas, streams, rivers, ponds, and mostly fresh water. River otters can be found from 45û to 66û north latitude and from 120û to 139û west longitude.|
The river otter is 25-30 inches long from head to body, and its tail is 16-18 inches long. They weigh about 10-33 pounds. These taiga animals have a long, slender, and sleek body with a tapered tail. They have a coat that is about 2.5 inches thick. River otters have two different types of fur: they have an outer coat of guard that protect their other set of fur which is an inner coat of short, dense fur. The river otter has a dark brown back and can be either light brown or gray on the stomach. The shape of its head is small, round, and flattened. Their eyes are and are located near the top of the skull to give them the ability to see above water while swimming underwater. The ears are very small. The nose pad is large and the snout (which is the muzzle) is rounded with very long whiskers. The nostrils of a river otter are located at the top of the nose to enable it to breathe while most of its body is submerged. When these taiga animals dive into the water, their nostrils automatically shut. Its whiskers are very sensitive and pick up the vibrations underwater. The river otter has four webbed feet to give it forward thrust when swimming. Also, they have short, strong legs. When it swims, the river otter moves slowly when above water, but when it’s underwater, it twists and turns.
These taiga animals reach sexual maturity by age two. They mate between February and march. The gestation period is 62-63 days. The female usually bears two kits. The kits are about four to five ounces. When a river otter is born, it is blind and toothless which makes it helpless. The abilities that it has are they take their first steps at seven weeks. The birth of a kit is sometime between January and May. Most of the time, the female raises her young. Kits usually have to ride on their mother’s back while swimming. Kits are also taught to swim. Soon the young ones will get used to the water and become great swimming hunters (they are able to catch fish at 16 weeks). The birth interval is one year. The river otter is mainly a social animal. Unlike other taiga animals it doesn’t migrate. A river is nocturnal and only hunt in the early morning and evening.
A river otter is an omnivore. Its typical diet is fish, shellfish, crustaceans, snails, beetles, amphibians, and other small taiga animals. It’s known to be hunted by foxes and wolves. The river otter benefits from its environment using different advantages to avoid danger. It has adaptations such as, the guard hairs to keep it from freezing and using permeable scent glands to mark territory, identify or for defence kind of like a skunk.
Today the river otter status is vulnerable. It is endangered in the U.S., but is common in Canada. The river otter can be used as a “symbol of survival for wetlands”. Pollution is usually found first in the water, wetlands, and small fish. A river otter can’t live where fish aren’t healthy and they can’t live in polluted waters. If these taiga animals are healthy, we can assume there is a safe environment for us as well as them.
by Thomas F. 2003
Taiga Animals : Snowshoe Rabbit
|The snow shoe rabbit lives in forest areas where the ground is covered with undergrowth in the higher parts of North America. These taiga animals also migrate throughout the mid west United States as well. It is larger than other rabbits and it weighs around three to four pounds as an adult and can be fifteen to twenty inches. It has large rear feet and the toes can spread out to act like snowshoes. Their feet also have fur on the bottom, which protects them from the cold and gives them traction in the snow. In the|
summer its fur is rusty, grayish brown but is turns pure white in the winter, except for its eyelids and the tips of their ears. This helps it to hide from predators.
They have three to four litters a year with one to eight in each litter.
The Snowshoe Rabbit can run up to 27 mph and jump 10 feet in one hop. It is an expert at escaping predators like the wolf, bobcat, or lynx. When a predator chases it, the rabbit quickly changes direction. They are also good swimmers and will jump in the water to make an escape.
The Snowshoe Hare is a herbivore that likes to eat grass, clover and other greens in the summer, and bark, twigs and buds in the winter. Since they are herbivores they become prey of larger taiga animals. The Snowshoe Hare is not considered endangered but their populations have been studied since the 1800’s.
by Jai B. 2000.
Taiga Animals : Wolverine
The Taiga Biome is populated with special animals that all have techniques of keeping warm and dry or away from the harsh coldness of the Taiga. One animal of the Taiga is the wolverine.
The wolverine is a meat eating animal, or carnivore. They depend on other taiga animals for their food. It’s body length can get up to 87 centimeters as an adult and weigh about 45 lbs. It looks sort of like a bear, with short legs, but it is the largest member of the weasel family. The wolverine is powerfully built and is well adapted to living in the cold. It has very strong jaws that can bite through frozen meat and bone. Its head is wide and kind of rounded, with small eyes and small
round ears. Its paws are very large with long claws. The wolverine’s fur is thick and a glossy dark brown.
This taiga animal is known for it’s physical strength and sharp, accurate hunting skills. It ranges from western United States, through Canada, up to Alaska. Wolverines have a very keen sense of smell that helps it locate food. It feeds mostly on some other taiga animals like rodents, fish, reptiles, birds, carrion, and sometimes berries. It’s habitat is in the boreal forests of the northern North American continent.
During breeding season the males usually stay close to the female, but they prefers to travel alone. The females give birth to about 2 to 3 kits in March. The kits are born furry and their eyes are closed. They are weaned in about 9 to 10 months. They reach adult size by early winter but may stay with their mother until they are old enough to reproduce.
The wolverines need a large home territory of about 200 square miles. They need lots of shelters in rock crevices and among boulders to hole up during bad weather or to escape predators. Its huge, flat feet and long claws make the wolverine an excellent climber. Their feet also act as snowshoes and keep them from sinking into deep snow.
The wolverine is one of the shy taiga animals that tries to avoid contact with humans. Human settlements and low birth rates have decreased the wolverine populations in North America. Wolverines are considered a rare and vulnerable species among taiga animals.
by Dillon B. 2000.