The taiga biome is a part of Russia. The taiga, which is the world’s largest habitat, stretches across North America, Europe, Russia, and Asia. It is home to coniferous forests and mountains, as well as tundra. It has cool winters and a cool climate. The taiga is home to fewer species than other regions. Many Russian animals hibernate or migrate. The taiga is home to many similar species – North American caribou and Russian reindeer are both the same species.
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Russia’s Native Trees
Russia’s trees can be divided into two groups: coniferous evergreens or deciduous birches. Common trees include larch, fir, pines, cedars, and spruces. They grow together, and their shapes shed snow. Their waxy needles resist cold and water loss from drying winds. Permafrost is particularly tough on larches. They are the dominant species in Siberia.
Herbaceous plants in Russia
There are very few plants in the northern tundra, other than mosses and lichens. The southern Urals is covered by grasslands, which are home to flowering plants such as purple loosestrife and larkspur, baby’s breath, bergenia, oriental poppies, and bergenia. Russian plants also contain native Russian tulips which are the ancestors cultivated tulips. Wild blue scilla (squills), also grows there.
Seed eaters are the most common bird, especially those that eat conifer seed. These include waxwings, siskins, goldfinches and chaffinches. Starlings are also quite common. They are able to supplement a rich diet of seeds with fruits. These birds are known to form flocks during the winter months. Many flocks move to Western Europe to overwinter. The taiga also has birds of prey such as owls. They feed on small mammals in the tundra or forest.
The northern Eurasian taiga has long had reindeer as a semi-domesticated species. They are herded to eat, hide and transport. Roe deer, which are small deer, are quite common in western Russia. Their antlers are straight and have only three prongs. Roes, unlike most deer are independent animals. From Siberia to Southern Russia, wild boar can be found in forests and scrub. They eat seeds, roots, eggs, and even dead animals as part of their diet. They live in groups and have close contact with their bodies.
Siberian chipmunks can be found in larch forests and eat seeds and insects. Red squirrels also thrive on conifer seed. Eurasian flying squirrels are found in dense forests of Northeastern Russia, along streams. They eat conifers, birch and alder buds at night. Beavers are also known to frequent Russia’s forests streams where they eat roots, trees and water plants. Every few years, the number of lemmings increases on the tundra and grassland. Norway lemmings eat grass and moss; Arctic lemmings prefer to eat the bark and buds of willow trees.
Badgers can be found anywhere forest floors are suitable for burrowing. Martens and sables, which are relatives of ferrets, prey on birds and mice. Sables also consume conifer seeds, sometimes at the expense of other seed-eating animals and birds. Martens are climbers and can often be seen in trees. Wolverines, another related species to Martens, are also found in Siberia.
Wolverines, which eat eggs, berries, and mammals, will attack deer. Arctic foxes can be found in the northern tundra. They eat ground-nesting birds and lemmings, and migrate to forests when food becomes scarce. Northern Russia is still home to wolves. Sometimes they can cause trouble in harsh winters by preying on farm animals and raiding human food stock.