Because of its diversity of habitats, from dense spruce forests to arctic tundra, from alpine mountain peaks to marshy flats, the Taiga Cordillera Ecozone includes a wide array of wildlife species representative of both arctic and temperate climates.
Mammals most common in alpine terrain include the American Pika, Hoary Marmot, Grizzly Bear, and Dall's Sheep. Mountain Goats, which are not really goats at all but members of the antelope family, are found on mountains in southern regions. During the spring and summer, alpine habitats are populated with several tundra-adapted birds, such as the White-tailed Ptarmigan, Horned Lark, and Water Pipit.
Woodland Caribou, Lynx, Marten, and Black Bear are common mammals of the lower forested habitats. Common birds in this zone include the White-winged Crossbill, Varied Thrush, and Gray Jay. River and wetland habitats support several waterfowl species, including Canvasback, Common Golden-eye, Mallard, and the rare Trumpeter Swan.
The Yukon's Old Crow Flats represent only a small part of this ecozone, yet it is a large and notable wetland that has received international recognition. Swans, Canada Geese, and other species nest or stage here each year in the tens of thousands. Another wildlife spectacle is the annual migration of the Porcupine Barren-ground Caribou, a herd of more than 150 000 animals that winters in the northwestern woodlands.
Evidence of this ecozone's wild and unspoiled character is Canada's largest concentration of Wolverines, a species that has been called a true wilderness creature. Like other members of the weasel family, this solitary nomad is curious, bold, and strong. It will fiercely defend its food against the attack of animals many times its size. Renowned for evading traps and robbing the most carefully protected caches of food, the Wolverine plays a leading role in the camp-fire tales of this region.