Canada has a wide variety of wildlife as a result of the vast areas of wilderness that dominate the country. These huge numbers of birds, fishes and animals is quite surprising considering Canada’s cool average climate, but being as there are vast regions that have been virtually untouched by man, it has been left to the natural wildlife to survive successfully.

The polar bar is fiercely protective of its young

The country is home to many endangered species of animals and this is as a result of the country having some of the rarest ecosystems on the planet. The country is the second largest in the world by size yet is only the 38th largest in terms of population. This makes it the 15th least populated country in the world.

This fact means that man rarely threatens natural ecosystems and when there is an environmental issue, the “green lobby” is vociferous and strong. At no time has this voice been more loudly heard than in the arctic tundra of the northern parts of the country and in the temperate coastal rainforests found down the western side of Canada.

A reindeer being hunted by a pack of wolves

The northern area of Canada borders onto the Arctic and is home to some of the most fragile ecosystems in the world. Damage here is not quickly repaired as it takes so long for things to grow back. Yet these barren areas of tundra are home to some of the powerful animals in the world and that is the polar bear. The magnificent white creature survives on a diet of fish, seals and sea lions. Despite its cuddly looking appearance, the animal is one of the ferocious hunters on the planet, and humans have to be wary with getting to close to it.

The food chain in the arctic regions means that for the polar bear needs large populations of sea lions and seals to feed upon. However, in recent years, their survival has been put in danger by global warming. The reduction in floating ice means that these animals can no longer get to the hunting and breeding grounds that they got to before.

Animals that survive in the cold and do not necessarily need the ice are the Caribou, commonly known as the reindeer. The deer survive in the summer off grasses, herbs and ferns and will eat huge amounts in order to store energy for the winter months. During this cold time they survive off lichens and fungi which they expose by using their hooves and antlers to scrape away ice.

There are numerous reindeer in the world today and their only real predator is the wolf. The Canadian timber wolf is a subspecies of gray wolf. They roam extensively around the tundra regions of the country and are one of the biggest types of wolves. The wolf feeds off reindeer, elk and bison and they tend to hunt in packs.

The arctic region of Canada is also home to many birds of prey. Golden Eagles, Snowy Owls, Peregrine Falcons and the Arctic Tern are all found in the region living off any food sources that they can locate. Despite these areas being some of the harshest places of earth, they are still home to the most spectacular wildlife.