- Fauna of Canada
The fauna of Canada is considered to be diverse across
Canada. Canada has multiple ecosystems, ranging from lush forests of British Columbia, to the prairiesof Western Canada, to the tundraof the Northern Canada. With a large land mass, and small population density, the wildlands of Canada provide important habitat for many animals, both endangered and not.
The most threatened
wildlifespecies (with flora too) of Canada are listed in the List of Wildlife Species at Riskaccording the Canadian Species at Risk Act.
Mammals are found in all the regions of Canada. Members of six orders of placental mammals inhabit Canada. They are the bats, carnivores (including the pinnipeds), artiodactyls, cetaceans, insectivores, and rodents (including the lagomorphs). Additionally, one species of marsupial, the opossum, can now be found in southern Canada.
Because of its large wild spaces, Canada is home to many large mammals, some of which have been extirpated in more densely populated areas, for example large predators such as the
gray wolfand the brown bear. Well known as "Canadian" are those mammals that are comfortable in the north, such as the caribou, the moose, the wolverine, and the musk ox. Other prominent Canadian mammals are the Canada lynx, and the North American beaver, which is a major symbol of Canada.
In addition to these native mammals, many Eurasian mammals were introduced (either intentionally or accidentally) by European colonists. Among them are domestic mammals, such as the
horse, pig, sheep, dog, cat, and cattle, and wild mammals, such as the brown ratand the house mouse.
avifaunacomprises 462 species, members of seventeen orders of bird. The two most diverse orders are the passerines and the charadriiformes. The most commonly known birds include the Canada goose, snowy owl, and the common raven. Another prominent Canadian bird is the whooping crane, whose only breeding grounds are protected in Wood Buffalo National Park.
Canada has forty-three species of
reptile, including turtles, lizards, and snakes. Of the major types of reptile, only crocodilesare not found in Canada.
Canada has twenty-five species of snake, representing three families. Most Canadian snakes are members of the
colubridfamily, including several species of garter snake. Additionally, the western provinces have species of pit viper, such as the western rattlesnake, and British Columbia has Canada's only species of boa, the rubber boa.
Canada is home to six species of lizard, all living along the southern border with the United States.
Canada also has twelve species of turtle, representing six families. A common turtle in Canada is the
painted turtle, which can be found in all ten of Canada's southern provinces, except Newfoundland and Labrador.
Nunavut, the Yukon, and Newfoundland & Labrador have no reptiles.
Canada has forty-three types of
amphibian, including salamanders as well as frogs and toads.
Canada's salamanders are found in all ten provinces, but none live in the three northern territories. Notable salamanders of Canada include the common
spotted salamanderof eastern Canada, and the rare pacific giant salamanderof British Columbia's coastal rainforest.
Frogs and toads are found in every region of Canada, though more are found in the south. Canada is home to five families of frogs and toads, including the
true frogs, true toads, and tree frogs, which are found in every province and territory (except Nunavut, which only has true frogs), the spadefoots, which are found in the prairie provinces, and the tailed frog, which is found only in British Columbia.
Canada's rivers are famous for their annual runs of
Atlantic salmonon the east coast and, on the west coast, Pacific salmon. Canada's many freshwater lakes and streams are home to rainbow trout, Arctic char, and brook trout. There are significant commercial fisheries in many salt-water species, including Atlantic cod, haddockand halibut, although some of these are in decline.
Due partially to the harshness of its winters, Canada has no native poisonous insects. Common Canadian insects include the
mosquitoand black fly.
Flora of Canada
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