Taiga: Animals

Contributor: Samantha Penna. Lesson ID: 11265

When you think of animals in cold climates, what do you think of? Polar bears? Penguins? They are not in the taiga, but lots of interesting cats, canines, and coleoptera live there. Watch and learn!


Life Science, World

learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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  • Can you imagine living where icy winds whistle through the towering trees and snow blankets the ground for months?

You know the taiga is a cold and snowy forest found in the northern parts of our planet.

  • But wait, how do the incredible creatures that call this fascinating part of the world home brave these bone-chilling temperatures?

Continue your thrilling adventure and discover the ingenious strategies and adaptations that help the taiga's animals survive and thrive in this icy wonderland.

Get your mittens on and prepare to be amazed by the remarkable resilience of the taiga's chilly inhabitants!

Before learning about the animals that live in the taiga, it is important to review what the taiga is.

The taiga, also known as the coniferous forest and boreal forest, is found in the northern hemisphere. The climate is cold and mostly dry, with very little rain in the winter. Most of it happens in the summer.

The taiga is home to coniferous trees equipped to survive cold temperatures. Their needle-like leaves hold very little sap, keeping them warm. Their leaves are a dark green color to absorb more sunlight. They are shaped like cones to keep snow from piling up and breaking the branches. Small, ground-hugging plants are also found in the taiga.


The cold climate of the taiga makes it challenging for most animals to live there. Read on to learn about how animals survive such a harsh environment!


Many types of mammals are found in the taiga. For example, lynxes, minks, bears, squirrels, wolves, foxes, caribou, reindeer, and moose can be found here.

The mammals that live in the taiga usually have thick fur or multiple layers of fur to keep them warm when the temperatures are low.

Some animals, like bears, hibernate during the winter months. This means bears sleep through the entire winter season.

Other animals migrate out of the taiga to warmer climates during winter.

Use the slider beneath the images below to view all three animals.

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Birds and insects can also be found in the taiga. Some examples of birds are boreal owls, yellow-bellied flycatchers, northern shrikes, boreal chickadees, ruby-crowned kinglets, gray jays, and many more.

Some of these birds stay in the taiga all year round; others migrate to a warmer climate during the winter months. The birds in the taiga feed on tree seeds and insects.

Some examples of insects birds eat in the taiga are spruce-bark beetles, larch sawflies, spruce budworms, and mountain pine beetles.

Use the slider beneath the images below to view all three.

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Migrate on to the Got It? section to learn more about the animals found in the taiga.

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