Plant life in Canada
The vegetation is characterized by the mighty forests covering approx. one-third of the country and extends as a wide belt from coast to coast north of the prairie, Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River, as well as in the western mountain areas. They consist mainly of coniferous trees: Douglas fir, Sitka spruce, white spruce, balsam fir, kanadahemlokk, Tsuga canadensis, and other species. Of deciduous trees are Canadian poplar and birch, to the south sugar maple, black walnut (mansonia) and plane. In the marshes, meadows and in the lowlands north of the forest belt, a growth life similar to that of Europe is encountered, but it consists of American species. Farthest in the north on the mainland and in the Arctic archipelago is tundra vegetation.
Wildlife in Canada
With its 140 species, there are about as many land mammals in Canada as in Europe. There are, among other things, 24 terrestrial predators, more than 60 rodents, nine hares and twelve parted clovers. Some species, like virginiaopossum, gray fox and fork buck occurs only in small areas furthest to the south, while others, such as weasel, america otters, foxes and wolves are widespread across almost the entire country. In the prairie areas we find strip skunk, prairie burrow and prairie wolf. Many predators and deer are associated with the large forests, such as black bears, canadians, martyrs, mule deer, virginia deer, wapiti or elk and elk.
American bison was formerly widespread in the west, but now occurs substantially in national parks. 15,000 animals, more than half of the world’s bison population, are to be found in Wood Buffalo National Park in Alberta.
In the mountain regions live cougar, bighorn sheep, tynnhornsau and mountain goat. On the tundra in the north, the fauna has arctic features, with wolverine, mountain reefs, polarhare, three limb species and musk ox. The polar bear occurs along the north coast and on the islands.
The caribou or caribou are probably the same species as the Eurasian reindeer. The tundra caribou appear in flocks of tens of thousands of animals that are constantly wandering. In the summer they stay on the tundra, in the autumn they head south towards the pine forest.
Of Canada’s eleven seal species, seven are found along the east and north coasts. Northern sea lion or stellar sea lion, California sea lion, northern fur and northern sea elephant are located along the Pacific coast.
About 400 bird species breed in Canada. Only a few, such as grouse, snow owl and raven, can survive the harsh winter of the tundra, but during the short summer, bird life is buzzing with pockets, geese, ducks and waders. On the tundra and in northern coniferous forests, we find many of the same bird species in Scandinavia, for example, snow bunting, linnet, cross fades, alerts, owls, falcons, buzzards and golden eagles. A significant proportion of wetland birds are also common to Canada and Eurasia. Two of the largest birds, the trumpet swan and the trumpet drone, were on the verge of extinction, but the population is now slowly on the rise.
Bird families that are not common to Eurasia are tyrants, spotted birds, viros, tanagars and parulas.
Amphibians, reptiles, fishermen
The amphibian and reptile fauna are richer and more diverse than in northern Europe. Turtles are found mainly in the area around the big lakes in the east. The rivers are fishy, especially in the west.