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Ecological Framework of Canada
Taiga Plains Ecozone


  1. Lynx
  2. Snowshoe Hare tracks
  3. Caribou antler
  4. Gray Jay
  5. Snowshoe Hare
  6. Willow Ptarmigan
  7. Wood Bison
  8. Common Raven
  9. Sharp-tailed Grouse
  10. Wolves at Bison kill
  11. Red Fox
  12. Ptarmigan tracks
  13. Boreal Chickadee
  14. Short-tail Weasel or Ermine
  15. Moose droppings
  16. Moose
  17. Moose-browsed willows
  18. Red Squirrel

The islands and flood-enriched shores of the Mackenzie, Liard, and Slave rivers are favourite habitats for many wildlife species, including Moose. In summer, Moose feed mostly on aquatic vegetation in shallow waters. In winter, they browse heavily on shoreline willows, leaving behind abundant signs in the snow in the form of tracks, trails, droppings, and shed antlers.

Barren-ground Caribou from the Porcupine Herd overwinter in the northwest corner of this ecozone, while scattered groups of Woodland Caribou are found throughout the area during all seasons. Other common mammal species include Wolf, Red Fox, Snowshoe Hare, Lynx, Black Bear, Marten, Mink, Ermine, Wolverine, River Otter, Porcupine, Muskrat, Red Squirrel, Beaver, and Northern Red-backed Vole. Two thirds of the 3 000 Wood Bison in Canada range freely in the Mackenzie Bison Sanctuary along the eastern shore of Great Slave Lake.

Common bird species that breed here during the brief spring and summer include the Red-throated Loon (in the northernmost part), Ring-necked Duck, Greater Scaup, Canvasback, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Hawk Owl, Northern Shrike, and Fox Sparrow. During this time of year, fish-eating raptors such as the Bald Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, and Osprey are familiar sights as they soar above the shorelines. Hundreds of thousands of Ducks, Geese, and Swans use the region's many lakes, rivers, and wetlands as staging or nesting areas. The Mackenzie Valley forms one of North America's better-travelled migratory corridors for waterfowl breeding along the arctic coast.

Year-round bird species adapted to long, cold winters include the Common Raven, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Gray Jay, Common Redpoll, and Willow Ptarmigan. High insect populations make the ecozone a welcome breeding habitat for insect-eating forest birds and other insect eaters.

Lake Trout, Lake and Mountain Whitefish, Arctic Cisco, Longnose Sucker, Arctic Grayling, Dolly Varden, Burbot, Walleye, and Northern Pike are among the many fish species able to thrive in the Taiga Plain's cold, nutrient-poor lakes and rivers.