Taiga Biome

By Lidia Gonzalez

Taiga is the largest terrestrial biome which extends across Europe, Asia, Canada, and Noth America. This boreal represents 29% of the world's forest cover.

Location & Climate

The taiga is found in Canada, Asia, Europe, and North America. The temperatures in the winter range from -65°F (-54°C) to 30°F (-1°C). In the summer, they range from 20°F (-7°C) to 70°F (21°C). Looking at these temperatures, you can see that it gets frigid in this area. There's an average of about 30 inches (76.2 centimeters) of rainfall per year. They have all four seasons- winter, fall, spring, and summer. This biome is above the equator, almost at the top of the world; this causes its chilly, snowy winters. Because of earth's axis, there's long nights in the winter and long days in the summer. The taiga biome has many glaciers with streams. These streams freeze in the winter for six months, if weather is cold enough. When summer arrives, the snow and rivers melt, causing humidity. Also, it is rainy and warm in the summer, causing more damp land.

Animals

Ermine

The ermine has a flexible body that can fit into burrow to be able to catch prey. They use their sharp teeth to bite the back of the prey's neck for food. At the beginning of winter, most ermines grow a white fur coat of thick fur. This helps keep them warm and have the ability to camouflage with the snow to hide from foxes, owls, and goshawks.

Lynx

The lynx is a nocturnal animal that first stalks its prey, waits on the ground, then strikes, like the lion. They have fur on their feet and wide pas that act like snow shoes. Their large, think, soft fur coat helps keep them warm. Their long, strong feet help them run with speed and climb mountains. Their binocular vision, sharp teeth, claws also help them catch their prey too.

Snowshoe Rabbit

the snowshoe rabbit, or hare, has a dark brown coat in the summer and pure white coat during winter to help with camouflage and keeping warm. They are active at night and early morning to help prevent predators. Their immense feet prevent them from sinking into the snow. Their feet also help them run away and jump with speed from predators.

Plants

Evergreen Trees

Evergreen trees are one of the most common trees in the taiga biome. Their cone shape helps prevent damage and they keep their leaves all year long. Branches droop downward to shed excess snow, other trees have needles keep them warm. But, needles lose less water and shed snow easier than broad leaves. These trees produce cones for regeneration.

Birch Trees

Birch trees lose their broad leaves in the fall. By shedding leaves, they save energy during the winter. They can survive a snowstorm without harming their branches without their leaves too. These trees are very tall and thick to help structure and support.

Aspen Trees

Aspen trees have a lot in common with birch trees. They lose their wide leaves in the fall too. They save energy in the winter and survive snowstorms without damaging their branches by dropping their leaves. Aspen trees have more coloration than birch trees, although they also have a towering, sturdy trunk.

Human Impact

People have been cutting down trees from the taiga causing environmental conflicts. Oil and gas exploration also happens a lot in this area. People are destroying habitats and large masses of land needed for animals to survive. Hunting has the greatest effect on the taiga. because of hunting, many animals have lost their battle with extinction in this biome. But not all is harmful, some people have started organizations to help conserve this precious forest. For example, the global World Wildlife Foundation is helping endangered species.