Species of the Boreal
The boreal canopy comprises about 20 tree species, mostly coniferous, notably spruce, fir, pine and tamarack. Deciduous trees include trembling aspen, balsam, poplar and birch.
The boreal forest shelters more than 85 species of mammals, big ones like wood bison, elk, moose, woodland caribou, grizzly and black bears, and wolves, as well as smaller species, including beavers, snowshoe hares, Canada lynx, red squirrels, lemmings and voles.
At least three billion land, water and shore birds breed in the boreal forest each year, representing more than 300 species — from small (such as warblers, vireos, thrushes, kinglets, grosbeaks, sparrows and flycatchers) to large (ducks, loons, grebes, rails, gulls, kingfishers and cranes). They depend on boreal waters for nesting and for food. Other bird species, such as woodpeckers, finches, nuthatches, chickadees, owls, grouse and ravens, are able to live in the boreal forest year-round.
Roughly 32,000 insect species inhabit Canada’s boreal forest, although about one-third of these species have yet to be described. Insects are critical components of boreal food webs and play important ecological roles as pollinators,