Travel Brochure: Taiga shield
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The main type vegetation in this ecozone is the Taiga forest consisting of stunted coniferous trees, such as black spruce, jack pine, paper birch, trembling aspen, etc. The northern edge of the ecozone is bordered by the treeline.
This region is famous for one of the most impressive displays of wildlife: 50 species of mammals including the barren-ground caribou, wolf, lynx, arctic fox, the grizzly bear, etc.
Also, there is a massive bird migration of swans, geese, loons, ducks, tree sparrows, etc. every spring, making the region a popular destination for birdwatching.
Along the marine coast, the area is inhabited by animals like walrus and seal. A few reptiles such as the blue spotted salamander are also found in the region.
The unique features of the region include an active exploration of diamonds, the oldest rock on the planet from the Precambrian era, a relatively large population of the bald eagles (endangered species), only four hours of sunlight in the late December (specifically on Dec. 21), and the midnight sun.
The major cities found in the region are Yellowknife, Labrador City, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, and Uranium City. The total population is 34000 and out of this, 17500 live in Yellowknife! The main occupations in the region are mainly related to mining, because of the high concentration of metallic minerals. Others include hunting, trapping, fishing, tourism, hydroelectricity (on the Churchill Falls), and forestry. If you want to get around this ecozone, the best ways recommended are by a dog sleigh or a snowmobile. You can also use air transportation, trains, and roads in the major cities.
60% of the ecozone’s population is first nations. The region represents a unique cultural blend of the Dene, the Métis, and the Inuit. There are many festivals in which the tourists can take part in: the Sun Festival, the Celebration of Lights, the Caribou Carnival, etc. Due to the excellent preservation of the rich aboriginal heritage, culture, and traditions, Yellowknife has been declared a UN heritage site. You can also view and take an insight on the native monuments by visiting the many museums found in the major cities such as Yellowknife.
This ecozone has untouched natural beauty, for instance the magnificent waterfalls near the Kakisa Lake. During the winter, before the arrival of the first snow and when the stars first appear in the night, one of the most amazing natural wonders takes place in our northern skies, the Northern Lights. Visitors from all over the world come to see and experience the breath-taking displays of the renowned Aurora Borealis. Recreational activities in the region include hiking, boating, dog sleigh races, sports fishing, canoeing, kayaking, birdwatching, etc.
This miraculously beautiful sight of the northern lights over the Great Slave Lake, NWT can only be appreciated through actual experience.
Bernhardt, Torsten. Taiga Shield.
28 November, 2004 .
Environment Canada. A National Ecological Framework For Canada: Taiga Shield Ecozone. 17 April 1997.
28 November 2004 .
Parker, Janice. The Diamond Capital: Yellowknife. Calgary, Alberta: Weigl Educational Publishers Limited, 2002.
Taiga Shield Ecozone: Land of Dwarf Trees. Environment Canada, 1991.
Clark, Bruce W. and John K. Wallace. Making Connections: Canada’s Geography. Scarborough: Prentice Hall Ginn Canada, 1999.
“Explorer’s Guide to Canada’s Northwest Territories.” Publishers: NWT Arctic Tourism and Outcrop Ltd., Yellowknife, 1998.