In the taiga are found such mammals as musk deer, elk, squirrel, chipmunk, brown bear, flying squirrel, lynx, weasel, solitary and ermine. Elks are one of its most characteristic representatives, living in forests, on the shores of lakes, marshes and in low-lying places with young deciduous species. They are not afraid of wolves, because their enormous strength and hooves make it possible to fight off any predator - of course, if it does not attack from the back. Musk deer is the smallest forest hoofed animal. Her canines are highly developed, and the male musk deer are known for their musk sack, a strong-smelling natural substance that is widely used in the perfume industry.
The most valuable fur animal lives in the taiga - sable, which chooses the most remote parts of the taiga with rivers and streams as its habitat. The sable is also tied to an impassable cedar elfin, arranging its nests under its roots. Another small predator of the taiga, the chipmunk, lives in burrows under the felled trees, stumps and stones. The larger predator, the lynx, in the taiga is the only species of wild cat that leads the terrestrial lifestyle and climbs trees perfectly. He lives in the taiga and wolverine, which has incredible endurance and leads a wandering lifestyle. The flying squirrel looks like a regular squirrel, but its skin on the sides forms a fur fold, which stretches and turns into a kind of wings, allowing the flying league to plan in a jump.
The life of taiga animals
The harsh climate of taiga greatly complicates life, but its inhabitants have long adapted to it. Many animals grow long thick fur for the winter, some of them use snow as a temporary dwelling, and the white hare, lynx and wolverine can walk on the snow thanks to their wide legs with long, hard hair on them.
Getting food in the taiga is quite difficult, so the taiga animals have managed to develop their own food storage system. So, reindeer take out moss from under the snow, hares gnaw the bark of shrubs and trees, and sables, bears and lynx eat pine nuts and seeds of coniferous trees. Squirrels living in the territory of taiga are stocked up for winter with food in advance, and badgers and bears hibernate. Chipmunk stores food in the fall, and in the winter season follows the example of bears and badgers, eating its stocks in the spring. In summer, taiga residents feed on berries and mushrooms, and predators hunt small rodents.
Animals taiga Russia
So, we continue to study the fauna of this region. The fauna of Russia’s taiga is also represented by the following species:
- Deer. AT Our country is most often found in Altai. Eats exclusively vegetable food, mushrooms and berries, needles of evergreen trees. Like moose, deer love salt. All this is due to the fact that the diet of animals does not have enough minerals. Good breeding in captivity.
- Roe deer Animal also attributed to the genus of deer. Two species live in Russia: European and Siberian roe deer. They live mainly in those places where the snow cover does not last long. If the snow reaches 50 centimeters, then for roe deer it is a critical mark. Prefers mixed forests.
- Boar. Another animal taiga, living in Russia. Individuals living in cold regions are characterized by great strength and aggressiveness. In some cases, a meeting with a wild boar can cost lives. In the taiga this animal can grow up to 4 meters in length. A boar, like a bear, eats everything. It prefers to live near small ponds and meadows, where it is easy to get food. The boar is an excellent swimmer and runs well.
- Fox. This is the most cunning taiga animal. It has good hearing, so even in winter, under a layer of snow, it can hear where the mouse is moving. Fox dives into the snow and catches its prey. She lives mostly in open areas where it is easier for her to get food. In the open spaces of Russia there are several species: silver-fox, arctic fox and others.
Despite the fact that the taiga was considered virtually unexplored until the mid-90s of the 19th century, urbanization is advancing on this region every day. Therefore, animals require protection and conservation of habitat. After all, this is a true northern paradise on earth, where there is clear water in rivers and lakes, deep forests and clean air. If nothing is done in the near future, then the climate on the planet will change at a catastrophic rate, which will inevitably entail the death of plants and animals.
Black bear (baribal)
The black bear or baribal forms a separate species and looks different from a brown bear. It is smaller than a grizzly, with which it coexists in the same areas of the North American continent, and between the shoulder blades it does not have a hump characteristic of a brown bear. You can meet baribal in Alaska, in almost all the states of Canada. In the US, the beast is not only in the states adjacent to the Mississippi. The black bear lives in the west, in the east of the country, and captures the southern states. He chose for himself the central and western regions of Mexico. That is, this species is also common in North America, like a brown bear in Siberia.
The weight of a black bear varies depending on the time of year, age and sex. In the autumn period, the baribal weighs 30% more than in the spring, when it leaves the den after hibernation. The black bears of the eastern coast of the mainland are heavier than the inhabitants of the western regions. The weight of males ranges from 55 to 250 kg. Females weigh from 40 to 170 kg. That is, ladies smaller representatives of the stronger sex. The body length of an adult bear is 1.2-2 meters. Height at withers reaches 70-105 cm. Tail length grows to 8-17 cm.
The fur of the baribal is black, short and smooth. Only the muzzle has a pale yellow color. But sometimes there are bears with different shades of fur. It can be dark brown, black with a bluish tint, white. And the last color is very rare. Of the hundreds of bears born into the world, only one can boast of such peculiar and unusual for black bears fur. White baribals are found mainly in the northeastern regions of Canada.
This lover of pine nuts - a typical resident of the taiga. With a strong long beak, she deftly pulls out seeds from ripe cones. Having stuffed them with goiter, nutcracker flies away to dine on the forest edge. And when hungry chicks are waiting for her, she carries food to them in a nest made of twigs and moss on a high pine tree. By winter, she makes stocks of nuts, hiding them in the moss or in the crevices of rotten trees.
In her pantry often visit various birds, and even animals. Some of the seeds remain in the moss and germinate by spring: in this way, nutcracker participates in the settlement of Siberian cedar pine. When the nuts are not ripe, the birds eat beetles, caterpillars, spruce seeds, berries. In the years not fruitful for cones, nutcracker gathers in flocks and wander, often flying away from the taiga zone.
Many people think that the most dangerous animal in the taiga is a bear, but it is not. The most dangerous is the elk. Namely - male elk during the rut period (“mating season”). At this time, the male intoxicated with male sex hormones becomes inadequate in his behavior and he perceives any living object as a competitor. The elk nursing the female is not interested in someone else nursing his darling — well, that is understandable (who wants to?). And therefore its aggression is very great. He attacks just on the move, indiscriminately. He beats his potential rival with the front hooves, and if he is a man, then there are practically no chances. The blow of this giant (from 300 to 650 kg) is very strong, and therefore meeting with a moose during the rut is very dangerous. The rut period lasts in the fall, September-October.
The most attractive for females are males with the largest horns. You say: because such a male seems to be stronger? Wrong. The female thinks that if this male has such big horns, it means that he was able to get so much food for himself, to compete so strongly with other elks for this food, that he managed to grow such big horns for himself. So for her future offspring, he will be able to get a lot of food, the offspring will be healthy and strong. If you compare with people, women are more likely to prefer a more prosperous man to a less affluent.
Elk feeds exclusively on plant food, as, by the way, cows and deer. Elk belongs to the family of deer and detachment of artiodactyls. Elks eat branches of bushes, trees, mosses, lichens, edible mushrooms, various herbs. They love to live in mixed forests with thick undergrowth, with an abundance of little ashes and birches. In this way, the moose eats about 7 tons of feed in a year. And in the winter it eats less, but saves energy.
In 1877, during his expedition along the northeastern coast of the United States, American zoologist William Hilly Dall (1845-1927) first saw and described a new species of ram, characterized by an unusually snow-white fur. A year later, this animal was discovered by wildlife advocate and writer John Muir on the two-headed Denali mountain in Alaska.
After some time, it received the name of Dalla ram. It is also called the thin-legged ram, and is sometimes considered a sub-species of a high-priced ram.
The natural habitat of Dalla sheep is mountain meadows at an altitude of 650 to 2500 m above sea level. They have a strongly developed need for social life. The females form groups with their offspring and they relate very well to other similar groups. Between them there is almost never any conflict when sharing the pastures and forage.
Males also live in groups and, prior to the beginning of the mating season, avoid any contact with females in every way. There is a strict hierarchy among males. All power belongs to the largest and strongest ram with the biggest horns. If the horns are the same size, then clarifying the relationship between the contenders for the post of leader becomes inevitable. The rams bow their heads to the ground and collide with horns from a distance of 10-12 meters.
Due to the strong skulls, injuries are very rare, and the competitions themselves can last several hours with short breaks.
Dallah rams feed on summer with various wild-growing herbs and branches of bushes, and in winter they are satisfied with moss and lichens extracted from under the snow.
In the northern forests there is, as a rule, a red deer. In the coastal taiga it is red deer, in the forests of Altai - maral, in North America - wapiti. The deer feeds on plant food. The diet is varied: a variety of herbs, mushrooms, berries. Eats pine needles, fir, cedar. Due to the lack of minerals in the body, deer like to lick the ground, in which there is a lot of salt, willingly approach the saline soils specially prepared for them. In winter, animals are forced to eat almost the whole day to replenish their energy. In the wild, the deer lives on average up to 20 years, at 5-6 years of age reaches the period of puberty. Horns in young males begin to appear somewhere in a year.
As well as all artiodactyls, the red deer is widely bred in captivity. For the peoples of the far north, the noble deer is the only source of life. All parts of this animal are used. Deer meat is pleasant, does not contain parasites due to the fact that deer do not eat carrion and other animals. Venison is supplied to the Russian market from the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District. The growth of horns continues on average to 12 years, then the horns become old, the number of shoots decreases, the horns weaken.
Young deer antlers (antlers) are of great importance in traditional medicine. In Altai, marals have been bred specially for the horns for many years. The antlers are cut off from living deer, and when cutting the horns they begin to bleed. Aqueous-alcoholic extract of maral antlers is used as a tonic, on the basis of which preparations are made.
Columns - small predator of the genus of weasels and trochees. Columns are often compared to minks. And it’s not for nothing: they are very close to European mink in their genetic characteristics. This is a small animal: its size is only about 30 cm (from the nose to the base of the tail). The column has a very beautiful tail: long (more than half of the body) and very fluffy, almost like a marten. It feeds mainly on small rodents, frogs, and occasionally hunts hares and birds. Do not disdain columns and insects, frogs, fish. It hunts mainly at night or at dusk. The main "competitor" of the column is the sable, which the column usually tries to drive out from the chosen places.
The common beaver, or river beaver, is the largest of the Old World rodents, its weight is up to 30 kg. The body is squat, more than 1 m long, 35 cm high, tail up to 30 cm, has the shape of an oar. Females are larger than males. There is no wool on the tail, but instead bristles and large scales. Paws are short five-fingered, hind legs with membranes. The claws are large, twisted, and the second toe of the back foot with a forked claw is a kind of comb, which the beaver combs its fur. He is very neat.
The body of the beaver is adapted for diving: eyes with transparent blink membranes that close when diving and protect eyes from injuries. Also tightly closed nostrils and ears. The beaver has special outgrowths on its lips, closing in the water and not letting water into the middle, and 2 teeth stick out. With these teeth he can gnaw under water.
Beavers have a thick and long fur chestnut, dark brown color with not less thick underfur that does not get wet. Paws and tail are black. Luxurious fur and a layer of subcutaneous fat retain heat even in icy water. Under water can last 10-15 minutes, and swim up to 700 m during this time.
Beavers live in deciduous forests of Europe and Asia, in burrows dug on the shores of small forest rivers and lakes that do not freeze to the bottom in winter. If the shore is flat, and the hole cannot be dug, a cone-shaped hut is built from a pile of brushwood, walls are covered with silt or clay.
Beavers live in families or alone. Families consist of 2 adults and bobryat 2 last litters. They mate at the end of winter, and at the beginning of summer, 2-4 appear, a maximum of 6 half-blind beavers covered with wool. After 2 days, newborn babies are already swimming, and after 20 days they get food themselves. They become sexually mature at 2 years, then they leave the hole of the father and the mother. Beavers live 10 - 17 years, and in captivity - up to 35 years.
Settles in the coastal zone of water bodies (rivers, lakes, ponds, swamps), choosing places rich in vegetation. The beast is cautious, but too active, it can be found at any time of the day. But more often it can be seen at dusk.
The main food is aquatic and terrestrial vegetation (sedge, reed, reed, horsetail). Can catch a frog, small fish and fry. The animals are excellent at swimming and diving; without air under water they can stay up to 18 minutes.
The tail of the animal plays the role of a rudder, the hind legs - pushers in the water. On land, they are not so nimble. Muskrat skillful builder of burrows and huts. The huts rise to a height in the water meter and have a conical shape. They are built from the stems of aquatic plants, and the entrance to the “tower” under water.
Burrows dig in the high banks, up to 10 meters long, nesting chambers are located above the water level in two floors. In complex labyrinths there are storerooms, family chambers for rest and sleep, and even latrines. The entrance to the corridors is located under the water.
The muskrat has many enemies, these are foxes, coyotes, minks, raccoons, pikes and many others. Muskrats are saved from predators by diving into the water or hiding in a hole. In a hopeless situation, protected by applying sharp claws and teeth. They live in a family group, i.e. parents and their children. Each family has its own territory, which the males jealously tag, strangers drive away.
The offspring of the female brings from two (southern habitats) to three to four (northern habitats) once a year. Pregnancy lasts about a month, blind and almost bare cubs are born, the weight of one baby is 20 grams. Most often in one litter they are 7 or 8.
Another representative of the deer-like artiodactyls. The kabarga lives in the Far Eastern taiga. It prefers dark coniferous taiga, with stone placers, protrusions of outcrops. Runs well and jumps incredibly well. It is capable of running, without slowing down, to change the direction of travel by 90 °. Fleeing from the pursuer, the musk deer, like a hare, confuses the tracks. It feeds on pine needles, cedar, lichens, various herbs. The diet of musk deer is strictly vegetarian. Gathering fodder, musk deer can rise along an inclined tree trunk or jump from branch to branch to a height of 3 - 4 m. There are many natural enemies of the musk deer. In the Far East, its main enemy is Harza, which hunts for musk deer by families. Often lurks for musk deer feeding the lynx, the wolverine and the fox pursue. Their life expectancy is only 4 - 5 years in nature and up to 10 - 14 in captivity.
On the belly of the male musk deer musk gland is located, filled with a thick, sharp-smelling brown-brown secret. One gland of an adult male contains 10–20 g of natural musk, the most expensive animal product. The chemical composition of musk is very complex: fatty acids, wax, aromatic and steroid compounds, cholesterol esters. The main carrier of musk odor is macrocyclic ketone muscon. The volatile components of musk carry information about the age and condition of the male and can accelerate estrus in females.
Musk is widely used in oriental medicine today. В Китае он входит в состав более 200 прописей лекарственных средств. Эксперименты, проведённые в Индии, показали, что мускус оказывает общестимулирующее действие на сердце и центральную нервную систему, а также эффективен как антивоспалительное средство.In Europe, musk as a medicine is not particularly popular, but here it found another use: in the perfume industry as a fixative of smells.
It is subdivided into 4 subspecies. The most common is common. Its representatives love the dampness, settling near the taiga reservoirs. In the woodlands settles small shrew. In the wilds of the taiga there are rare medium and tiny subspecies. Representatives of the latter are only 6-7 centimeters in length. This is the minimum among insectivorous animals in Russia.
Because of the small size of the insectivorous animals of taiga can not do "marches" in the woods. This complicates the search for food. Shrew shrubs cannot do without it for more than 4 hours. The age of the animal does not exceed 2 years.
One fifth of them are of childbearing age. Female shrews can slightly delay childbirth under adverse conditions. On the health of the offspring is not reflected. Toddlers are born healthy on the 18th and 28th day from the moment of conception.
The second largest in the family Kunih. The body length of the animal is more than a meter. Externally, the beast is something between a giant badger and a long-haired dog. Wolverine fur is not only long, but not freezing in winter. The hairs are smooth but rough to the touch. Coloring animal brown with light stripes on the sides and head.
The name of the beast is Latin, translated as "insatiable." Wolverine literally eats everything, focusing on small animals such as the hare. The representative of the family of mustelids catches in the southern belt of the taiga. In the middle and especially the northern wolverine does not go.
Uneducated artiodactyls. There are two species of roe deer in taiga forests: the European one, which captures the taiga region only a little, and the Siberian roe deer. Habitat mainly depends on the height and time of occurrence of snow cover. The critical height of the snow cover for the Siberian roe deer is 50 cm. The Siberian roe deer avoids the area where the snow of such a height lies 230-240 days a year. Roe deer enters the taiga only if it has deciduous undergrowth, but mostly lives in mixed forests.
Prefers as the most feeding places are areas of light sparse forest with rich shrub undergrowth, surrounded by meadows and fields, or (in summer) tall grass meadows covered with shrubs. Occurs in reed beds, in riparian forests, overgrown cuttings and burns, in overgrown ravines and gorges. Compared with the Siberian, European roe deer are almost sedentary and do not perform mass seasonal migrations. It feeds on plant foods rich in nutrients and water. Young shoots (low in fiber) are most preferred. Dry and heavily woody parts of plants, solid grains and sedges, plants containing toxic substances (saponin, alkaloids, phenols and glucosides) are usually not eaten or reluctant to eat.
In order to compensate for the lack of mineral substances, roe deer can visit salt licks or drink water from sources rich in mineral salts.
Mostly wild boar lives in warmer lands and is found even in subtropics and tropics. But the representative of the animal world of the taiga can be called boldly. The wild boar is the ancestor of our domestic pigs, but is a strong, powerful and very aggressive beast. Meeting a wild boar in the taiga can cost a person a life under certain conditions. It grows to unprecedented size, the length of the body in some individuals is, if not lie, about 4 meters. On the Internet there are trophy photos of hunters with giant boars. But on average the boar weighs about 175-200 kg, body length 1.5 - 2 meters.
Wild boar is omnivorous. And you can safely notice that this friend loves to eat. It feeds mainly on plant food, but consumes various small rodents and carrion. Boars prefer an area rich in various pools, ponds. They love to flounder in these puddles, mess around in the mud (pigs). Quite awkward animal, but runs fast, swims well. Well-developed hearing and smell, vision is not so good. Wild boars are cautious, but not cowardly: irritated, wounded or protecting the young, they are very brave and dangerous because of their strength and large canines. They can also visit the fields of potato, turnip, cereal, causing harm to agriculture, especially those that tear up and trample crops. They often spoil and young trees. Very rarely boars attack rather large animals, sick or wounded, for example, fallow deer, roe deer, even deer, kill and eat them.
Flying squirrels belong to the squirrel family, the subfamily of rodents. In the forests of Russia inhabits ordinary flying squirrel. It belongs to the genus Asian (Eurasian) flying squirrels, combining two species - common flying squirrel and Japanese (small) flying squirrel. Common flying seer is called "flying squirrel". The unusual structure of the body allows the animal not only to fly from one tree to another, but also to produce complex acrobatic movements: plan, perform complex maneuvers and aerobatics in the air, sometimes landing in the same place where the launch took place.
The flying squirrel looks like a squirrel, but has a smaller body and tail. The length of the animal is from 12 to 23 cm, the weight is about 170 g. On the round obtuse head there are short ears without brushes and large bulging black eyes. Thick silky fur at the top of the body is silver-gray, often with a brown tinge, white on the abdomen with yellowness. The main thing that distinguishes flying squirrel from a squirrel is the presence of a skin membrane located between the hind and forelimbs, which serves for planning during flight. During the jump, when the squirrel puts his paws to the sides, this membrane stretches, its tension and the position of the front legs set the direction of flight. The tail is used to stabilize in flight and acts as a brake when landing on a tree.
Habitat of flying squirrels are mixed and deciduous forests, less often - coniferous. They are mainly nocturnal and twilight. Flying squirrels are active all year round, only on frosty days they sit in a nest, feeding on stocks that have been harvested. They spend most of their lives on trees, rarely dropping to the ground. Nests are built in the already finished hollows left over from woodpeckers, forty and squirrels. Sometimes it happens that flying squirrels settle in birdhouses. Nests are covered with moss, dry grass, lichen. Flying nonaggressive, often in one nest can settle two individuals. While awake, they search for food. They feed on flying fodder plant foods - seeds, buds, shoots, berries, mushrooms. Especially like earrings of birch and alder, which prudently fold in the hollow, making stocks for the winter. Once a year, 2-4 naked and blind pups appear in the female, which by the 50th day can plan and become independent. Flying owls are large owls, marten, sable. Life expectancy is about 5 years, in captivity the animals live twice as long.
The wolf is the most beloved animal of the taiga in many people. Many people like to put images of wolves on their avatars and simply associate wolves with something beautiful, endow wolves with nobility and even magical power. But in fact, wolves are not as white and fluffy as many people see them. And lone wolves simply practically do not exist, they are very rare in the taiga. Wolves are pack animals, they gather in flocks and have been gathered for so many thousands of years. In a pack, wolves simply find it easier to survive, to get food in the frosty climate of the taiga, rather than alone. Lone wolves, or rather, wolf families are found in places where there is an abundance of food, and they no longer need to gather in a pack. But most often the wolf lives in the pack. And there is no nobility here. The pack is a strictly organized totalitarian society with its own hierarchy. There is a leader, to which all other individuals obey, there are medium-sized wolves and outcasts - outcasts. Such outcasts are not driven away, but they are treated extremely badly, but it is easier for a outcast to survive in a pack than to go it alone.
Of course, wolves are very aesthetic in appearance because of the beautiful wool, but there is no nobility in them. They attack the prey only by a pack, and therefore a single wolf is not dangerous. The wolves are most dangerous in the winter, most often in the winter they attack people or livestock in the villages. Black wolves are considered the most evil.
Chipmunks live both in the taiga and in deciduous forests. Favorite delicacy - cedar cones. Chipmunk inhabits empty stumps and hollows, shallow mink under the roots of trees. And as it gets cold, it goes into hibernation for a long seven months! In the spring the animal gets out to bask in the bright sun. At this time, his supplies will come in handy! When it becomes quite warm, the female brings from four to six chipmunks! They grow very quickly and leave their parents' house for good in a month.
Lynx - a typical representative prey animals taiga. It is comparable in size with a large dog: at the withers it does not exceed 70 cm, the average weight is 18-25 kg.
The look differs in long tassels on ears and "whiskers", it is simply impossible to confuse it with others. Lynx fur is the thickest and warmest among all cats, but otherwise, animals of taiga must be adapted to the bitter cold.
Like all cats, she is an excellent hunter. The lynx never pounces on its prey from above, but sits in ambush for a long time and waits for a convenient moment.
With sharp protracted jumps, she overtakes the victim and digs into the neck. A wounded and distraught animal can drag a hunter long enough, but the lynx will not back down, knowing that the strength of its prey is running out.
The lynx hunts primarily hares, and blackcock, partridges, roe deer, deer, young boars and elks are also given its predatory attention. It happens that when there is a lack of food, she attacks dogs and cats.
This big cat is interesting not only by its appearance, but also by its behavior. She chronically does not tolerate foxes, who tend to steal her prey. The punishment for this one is that the lynx kills the thieves, but does not eat, but leaves others to be edified.
The most cunning animal of the taiga is the fox. Not in vain in the people even the expression is fixed - “cunning as a fox”. It is understandable: in order for a wild beast with such a bright color to get food, you just need to be cunning and agile. The fox has a well-developed ear, with the help of the ears, she learns that her prey was hiding somewhere nearby. In winter, the fox hears well the mice sneaking under the snow. The slightest rustling and vibrations catch her excellent locator ears. Under a mnogosantimetrovym layer of snow, the fox tracks down its prey, dives into it - and grabs the coveted rodent. Therefore, the fox prefers to settle more in open places, plains, ravines, than forests. Both in winter and summer, it is much easier for fox to get food for themselves in the open area than in dense forests. As a rule, foxes are sedentary, they do not migrate anywhere. Why go somewhere, if there are enough mice everywhere!
The fox is a monogamous animal and prefers to settle in burrows. And the hole or digs itself, or uses someone else's. Before going to bed, carefully checks everything around, then lies down and listens to various rustles. Due to the fact that the main forage base of foxes are rodents, the fox plays an important role in regulating the number of rodents. Rodents are dangerous when they eat grain. But sometimes the number of foxes themselves grows to large sizes. Then the foxes start coming to the nearby villages, towns. Rummaging in the trash, climb on the plots. They like to approach the places of tourists' parking.
Grouse - a bird of the grouse genus, subfamily of grouse, a family of pheasant-like squad of chamois. A widespread species that lives almost everywhere in the forest and taiga zone of Eurasia, from western Europe to Korea. Hazel grouse is the smallest representative of grouse. The weight of even the largest individuals rarely exceeds 500 grams. In the forest, it is difficult to confuse with other grouse birds, from which it differs not only by its small size, but also by its rather recognizable color. Despite the colorful, “pockmarked” plumage (from which the bird got its Russian name), already from a short distance the grouse seems monotonous, gray-reddish. Sexual dimorphism in grouse is much less pronounced than in other grouse - it is very difficult to distinguish the male from the female in nature. In addition, unlike other grouse, the hazel grouse is a monogamous bird.
The grouse lifestyle has been studied quite fully. It is a resident bird, not committing long-distance migrations. Hazel grouse, like all grouse, is mostly herbivorous, although in the summer animal feed occupies a significant place in its diet, while chicks feed mainly on insects. In winter, hazel grouse has to be content with coarse and low-nutrition vegetable food. In the presence of snow cover, the hazel grouse in the winter buries itself in the snow, spending the night and the coldest hours of the day in it. It also provides some protection against predators, from which the hazel grouse suffers greatly both in winter and in summer.
Despite the reduction in world livestock and the periodic decline in the number of individual populations, the hazel grouse is still numerous and is beyond the threat of extinction. Most of the world population of grouse, numbering up to 40 million birds, falls on Russia. Most often, 11 subspecies of the hazel-hen are distinguished, which are quite slightly different from nominative.
Badger is an animal of southern taiga, it is not in the northern forests. It adheres to dry areas, but near water bodies, lowlands, where food is richer. The badger lives in deep burrows that digs along the slopes of sandy hills, forest ravines and beams. Beasts from generation to generation stick to their favorite places. As shown by special geochronological studies, some of the badger towns are several thousand years old. Single individuals use simple burrows, with one entrance and nest chamber. Old badger settlements represent a complex multi-tiered underground structure with several (up to 40–50) entrance and ventilation openings and long (5–10 m) tunnels leading to 2-3 large, covered with dry bedding, nest chambers located at a depth of 5 m .
Badger activity takes place at night. He is omnivorous, but prefers vegetable food. Badger is not aggressive towards predators and humans, he prefers to step back and hide in a hole or another place, but if he gets angry, he hits his nose and bites the offender, and then runs away. It feeds on mouse-like rodents, frogs, lizards, birds and their eggs, insects and their larvae, mollusks, earthworms, mushrooms, berries, nuts and grass. During a hunt, a badger has to go around large areas, rummaging through fallen trees, tearing off the bark of trees and stumps in search of worms and insects. However, he eats only 0.5 kg of food per day, and only by the fall he eats up much and feeds fat, which serves him as a source of nutrition during the winter sleep.
The marten is a representative of a large family of mustelids. It is an agile and nimble predator, capable in the pursuit of prey to easily overcome various obstacles, climb on the upper canopy of the forest and climb tree trunks. The animal marten belongs to valuable fur-bearing animals and has beautiful noble fur from dark chestnut to brownish yellow..
The build of marten directly affects its habits: this animal can move only sneaking or spasmodically (at the time of running). The flexible body of a marten works like an elastic spring, which is why the fleeing animal flashes for a moment in the paws of coniferous trees. The marten prefers to keep the middle and upper forest tiers. She cleverly climbs trees, clambering even on erect trunks, which she can do with sharp enough claws.
The marten is predominantly diurnal, hunting on the ground and spending the majority of its time in the trees. The housing marten settles in hollows of trees up to 16 meters high or directly in their crown. The marten does not just avoid man, but lies from him. Leads a sedentary life, without changing the favorite habitats, even with a shortage of food. But occasionally it can wander for proteins, which periodically undertake mass migrations over long distances.
All his way of life marten associated with the forest. It is found in many forests, where different trees grow, but most of all prefers spruce, pine forests and coniferous plantations close to them. In the northern regions - this is spruce-fir, in the southern - spruce-broad-leaved, in the Caucasus region - fir-beech forests.
The area of the Altai mole occupies a vast area of Western and Central Siberia. Its western border goes from Semipalatinsk to Barnaul, Novosibirsk, where it sharply turns to the west and passes probably just north of Barabinsk.
Siberian mole fur is relatively long and fluffy. The color of the fur varies greatly from light lead-gray to black with chocolate-brown or: brownish shades of different saturation. For non-worn fur is characterized by a pronounced silky sheen. The ventral side is usually more or less dull. На горле и груди часто развит слабый желтовато – охристый оттенок. Как и у других кротов изредка встречаются полные или частичные альбиносы и хромисты.
По наружным признакам в общих чертах похож на европейского крота, отличаясь, однако, значительно более крупным ростом, толстой, несколько укороченной мордой и более коротким хвостом. Глаза видимы снаружи и снабжены подвижными веками. Череп крупный, кондило-базальная длина его 37.1 – 41.0 мм. It seems somewhat angular, significantly elongated, widened in the nasal section and flattened in the area of the brain box.
Sable is a dexterous and strong animal with valuable fur, a representative of the mustelid family. This predator is a typical inhabitant of the mountain and plain taiga. Leads a settled lifestyle in the selected area, in case of danger can move to other territories. The closest relative of the sable is the pine marten.
Sable skin color is changeable and depends on the season. In winter, the fur is a little lighter, in summer - several shades darker. Color varies from light brown to almost black, on the chest of the animals there is a small bright yellow spot. Brown color becomes darker on the legs of the sable. In winter, wool covers the paw pads and even the claws of the beast. The fur of the animal is soft, dense and warm, and therefore is of particular value.
Typical habitats of sable are Eurasian taiga. These animals are distributed from the Ural mountains and to the Pacific coast. The main part of the territory where sables live belongs to Russia. Also, animals with valuable fur can be found in the North of China and Mongolia, on the Japanese island of Hokkaido, in North Korea.
Asylum predators arrange in the crevices of rocks and hollows of fallen old trees, use voids under the roots. Inside, their sables are lined with dry leaves or grass, the toilet is set up separately from the main nesting chamber, but close enough to the hole.
Sables are agile and quite strong predators for their size. They are terrestrial, most active in the evening and in the morning, but they can hunt at any time of the day. Since sables are active mostly at night, they sleep during the day. Animals with precious fur prefer to move along the ground, in water or on trees they go only in case of danger.
In search of food for the day, the sable runs about 3-4 kilometers. In winter, this distance can increase up to 10 kilometers, when an animal is forced to lead a semi-nomadic lifestyle in search of food. In lean years, even in summer, sables are forced to run from 10 to 20 kilometers to find suitable food.
According to the law in force in the United States, anyone who has at least one feather or any part of the bald eagle’s body is charged a large fine. However, this law does not apply to Indians who use the feathers of eagles as decorations.
The main food of the bald eagle is fish and crabs. In addition, he often hunts for waterfowl.
Usually a bald eagle sits near the water in a high position, for example, on a tall tree or rock, and looks out for prey. Having noticed it, the bird easily flies down, grabs the fish with its sharp claws and returns to the shore, where it calmly finishes the meal.
If a bald eagle has chicks, it carries the prey to the nest. Often, the fight against fish is so desperate that for a moment the eagle is completely under water. In order to maintain strength, the bird is often satisfied with dead fish. In addition, the bald eagle takes prey from other, smaller birds. That is why Benjamin Franklin spoke out against this bird being a candidate for a symbolic image of the United States of America, because the eagle lives dishonestly - it often gets food not by its own labor, but takes it away from other, weaker birds. Surprisingly, it seems that America more than fits its symbol!
In the XVIII century, when the bald eagle became a symbol of the United States, there were about 75 thousand of these birds. But by the end of 1940 there were so few of them that a law was passed to protect this eagle. The following factors led to a catastrophic decline in the number of bald eagles: water pollution, the destruction of eagles by farmers and hunters, since the bird often attacked livestock, the use of DDT pesticide, which accumulates in the body of birds and leads to their low density.
Orlan usually lives on the seashore, in wetlands, along rivers and lakes, where you can fish, which is its main food. Most eagles are found in Florida's pine forests and in numerous bays in this region. The place where many eagles meet is Alaska. During the year, solitary individuals are also found in many parts of North America. Usually these are young birds, which overcome thousands of kilometers in search of food.
The yellow or black woodpecker is one of the largest representatives of the woodpecker family. Black woodpecker lives throughout Europe except the extreme south. In Asia, it is distributed in the Caucasus, in Siberia, to Kamchatka, Sakhalin, the Korean Peninsula, and Northern Japan. For habitat chooses tall deciduous, pine, spruce and cedar forests, often found in the burns.
Gelna refers to large birds, its body length reaches 50 cm, weight is about 300 grams. The wings are rounded, the head has a large, thin neck. The black woodpecker has a massive beak of a chisel-shaped form, about 55-65 mm long, the color of the beak is yellowish-gray. The bird has a coal-black color of feathers, a back with a reflection. The male has a red cap of feathers on his head, which are located on the forehead, the back of the head and the crown, which makes him different from a completely black female.
The basis of the diet is desirable insects and their larvae. It prefers to eat woodcutter beetles, bark beetles, goldfish. It also eats ants, caterpillars and larvae of the tailtail. During the day, the black woodpecker eats from 300 to 650 birch sap larvae. During the winter period, it also eats seeds of conifers, but in small quantities.
The black woodpecker leads a lonely lifestyle, with the exception of the mating season, which begins in early March. Males attract the attention of females, loudly knocking on trees and shouting. The cry of the clan sounds like a guttural "frut-frut-frut", it is heard from a distance. Sometimes the birds emit a meowingly consuming cry — “keee”.
After mating, the birds settle together in remote areas of the forest and hollow out a hollow to build a nest. Often desirable to settle in the same nest for several years in a row. But if the nest is occupied by other birds (black woodpecker hollows are often inhabited by owls, clintuha) or there are a lot of free trees in the forest, then a couple hollows out a new hollow.
White tailed deer
White-tailed deer is included in the genus of American deer of the deer family. Forms a species that lives in North, Central and South America. The largest number of animals is concentrated in southern Canada, in the United States and Mexico. In South America, representatives of the species live only in the northern part of the continent. The habitat is the most diverse: forests, steppes, semi-deserts, and swamps. This hoofed-up everywhere is adapting to local conditions. In the middle of the last century, representatives of the species were brought to Scandinavia, where they quickly adapted. In total in the world today there are about 14 million of these undemanding animals.
The sizes are different and depend on the habitat. The north, the larger animals. Representatives of the species living in Canada and in the north of the United States weigh from 60 to 130 kg. In individual males, the weight reaches 155 kg. Females are not heavier than 90 kg. South of the deer shrink. Their weight varies from 35 to 50 kg. The average weight of males, regardless of the region, is 68 kg, while for females this value is 45 kg. The height at the withers varies from 55 to 120 cm. The length of the body is 95-220 cm. The tail also enters here. Its length is 10–37 cm.
The skin in the spring and summer reddish-brown. In autumn and winter gray-brown. In the upper part of the body the coat is slightly darker than in the lower one. The tail is brown at the top and white at the bottom. When the animal runs, it raises its tail up. At the time of danger, this is a signal to the congeners. Only males have horns. They drop them at the end of the mating season. On this place new formations begin to grow. On each of the horns there are processes.
People representatives of the species are wary. This is not surprising, since man always mercilessly shot these animals and by the beginning of the 20th century reduced the population to a minimum. Then it slowly increased, but did not reach the former tens of millions. While running, a deer can reach a speed of 75 km / h. The length of the jumps in an extreme situation is 10 meters, and their height reaches 2.7 meters.
The food of white-tailed deer is varied. Animals eat leaves, grass, buds, berries, acorns, grain, fruits. Features of the stomach allow you to eat mushrooms and poison ivy. The diet depends entirely on the seasons of the year. In some cases, these artiodactyls can eat field mice, chicks and birds.
A large bird of prey belonging to the owl family and common in the territories of North and South America is called the Virginian owl. For the first time this species was discovered and described in the territory of Virginia, and therefore received the corresponding name. Habitat covers virtually all of North America, down to the subarctic regions in the north.
These birds also live in Central America, in the north of South America, in Argentina, Bolivia, and Peru. There are no them in Amazonia and in the south of South America. Habitat is the most diverse. This is deciduous, coniferous, mixed, tropical forests, pampas, prairies, deserts, mountain areas, swamps, subarctic tundra. There are at an altitude of 3.3 thousand meters above sea level. Outside the nesting period, preference is given to open terrain, and in the mating season is wooded. This species is divided into 10 subspecies.
In the family, owl representatives of the species are inferior in weight and size only to the polar owl. Body is barrel-shaped, head is large, wings are wide. The eyes are large and only slightly smaller than the eyes of a person. They are well adapted for night hunting and provide a binocular field of view. The color of the cornea is orange-yellow.
Body length is 43-65 cm, wingspan is 91-153 cm, while females are larger than males, on average, by 15%. The average weight of females is 1.6 kg, and in males the corresponding figure is 1.2 kg. The tail length reaches 17-25 cm. The legs and claws are large and powerful. The average length of the legs is 20 cm. The apertures are hidden by feathers, while the left feather ear is slightly larger than the right one.
Weasel - a very aggressive and bloodthirsty animal, able to make daring robberies in the private households of the population. However, the most surprising thing is that this animal is a weasel. If the place where nature “endowed” with such characteristics is a very tiny and pretty creature - the length of its body reaches an average length of only 16-18 centimeters.
Weasel has a flexible, dodgy, long, thin body. and is the smallest representative of the order of predators. Outwardly, weasel is very similar to an ermine, reminding him of both the body structure and the color of the fur. The differences between them are in the smaller size of the weasel and in the monochromaticity of its slightly shorter tail than that of the ermine (up to 9 cm in length, without a dark tassel). At its base are special glands, secreting a secret with a disgusting sharp odor.
Fur pet caresses short and tight. Its color depends on seasonality. In winter, weasel has a white color, and in summer brownish brown on the outer side of the paws, in the tail, on the sides, back and top of the head - only the inner side of the paws, belly, chest, hem at the upper lip and throat are still white. In terms of the quality of fur density, weasel fur is always the same - in summer, in winter, with the only difference that in the warm season the hair is slightly shorter and thinner than winter. In some southern habitats, the animal does not change color at all, remaining mostly brown.
Weasel excellently climbs, runs and even swims - so it is agile and agile animal. What distinguishes her habits is the boldness, bloodthirstiness in the attacks and courage, so it can often be caught at night in a human dwelling, where she enters the economy through the narrowest holes and cracks. Weasel is active at different times of the day, but usually it goes hunting at night or at dusk.
Traditionally leads a more terrestrial lifestyle. Moves hopping. Bypassing the territory, he prefers to stick to shrubs and other natural or artificial covers. Unprotected space tries to avoid. In one day, weasel is able to overcome one or two kilometers. In the winter, it moves in snowy voids.
Because of their small stature, weasels often die when crushed by larger animals, but they often have time to gnaw their opponents throats. At the time of fights, the weasel males emit a very loud squeal.
Desman is a molehaped mammal. Belongs to the class of insectivorous. In the past - the object of active hunting. Currently, the animal is listed in the Red Book of Russia and is protected. A more complete description of the animal muskrat is set forth below.
Muskrat is a rather rare relic species endemic in Russia. Previously, she often met in Europe until the British Isles. The modern natural habitat of desman is limited to the basins of the Volga, Dnieper, Ural and Don. It is still found in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Lithuania.
The appearance of the animal muskrat impresses with its singularity. This is a rather large beast with a body of 18-22 cm in length, the tail is the same in length and weighing up to 520 g. The tail of the muskrat is covered with a layer of horny scales, and along them along the top is also hard hairs that form the keel. The tail at the very base is as if overtightened (there it has the smallest diameter). At the very interception (the first third of the length of the tail) is a pear-shaped thickening. There are musky, odorous glands, the oily liquid from which goes through numerous openings - they are located on the lower side of this thickening. Tail for thickening noticeably compressed from the sides. The nasal openings of the desman are closed with a special valve in the nasal cavity. The animal has very long vibrises, and sensitive hairs grow on its body. Desman has rather short limbs, 5-fingered, while the hind feet are wider and larger than the forefoot. Fingers to claws are combined by swimming membranes. The claws are long, they are well developed and slightly curved. Along the edges of the paws, there is a rim of stiff hair that increases the swimming surface of each paw. The fur of the muskrat is velvety, thick, very durable. Fur hairs at desmans are not arranged like other animals: they expand upwards and taper towards the root. The back color is grayish or dark brown, the belly is silvery gray or silvery white.
Ermine is a small animal in the family of the weasel family. Externally, it looks like a marten: the same elongated body, short legs and a long neck. In addition, the ermine has small rounded ears, typical of all animals belonging to the Kunim. The appearance of the animal is deceptively cute, but in fact the ermine is a rather dangerous, courageous and bloodthirsty predator. When the animal has no other way out, it may well attack a person. Its fur is perhaps the most valuable of all fur animals. We make an ermine because of the fur. In nature, there are about 26 subspecies of ermine, differing in type of fur and size of the animal.
Ermine is a small animal, similar to the weasels in body and head structure. The body is thin and long and flexible, as the animal leads a mobile lifestyle and hunts for rodents. The paws are short, so the ermine seems to be squat. They have long, sharp, tenacious claws that help him move through the trees, but they are not strong enough to dig burrows. Also on the paws of the animal there are connecting membranes that overgrow with moss by winter, increasing the foot area and it becomes easier for the animal to move through the snow. The head is triangular with a pointed muzzle, the ears are round, like all other mussels, the nose and eyes are black. The ermine has very sharp teeth, because its main food is rodents.
This small animal is very clever and mobile. He moves fast and a little fussy. While hunting in the warmer months, an ermine can walk up to fifteen kilometers in a day, and in winter up to three kilometers. On the snow cover, the animal moves up to half a meter long, while its jogs are hind legs. When other predators attack him, he prefers to sit on the trees until the pursuer leaves.
The enemies of the ermine, too, are: red and gray fox, marten, sable, ilka, American badger, and also birds of prey. There are cases that the ermine is caught by domestic cats. Many animals die from infection with a nematode, a parasitic disease, tolerated by shrews.
This snake is 35-50 cm long. The common viper can be of a different color, but there is one distinguishing feature for all vipers: it is a dark zigzag on the back, from the back of the head to the end of the tail, which is accompanied on each side by a longitudinal row of dark spots. We can assume that the main color of the vipers is silver, but this is arbitrary, since there are light gray, yellow, green and brown individuals. The belly of a viper is dark gray or even black. The end of the tail is always a lighter color, often lemon.
Vipers have large, rounded eyes. Some say that they reflect some kind of cunning and aggression. Цвет радужной оболочки обыкновенно яркий огненно-красный, у темных самок – светлый красновато-бурый.
В месте обитания у гадюки нет каких-то особых пристрастий, она может встречаться то тут, то там: в лесах и в пустынях, на горах, лугах, полях, болотах и даже в степях. Главное, чтобы было достаточно пищи и света, а к остальному она не предъявляет особых требований. Особенно много гадюк встречается в болотистых местах. Here they live sometimes in terrifying numbers.
Despite the fact that vipers love light and heat, one cannot argue that this snake leads a daytime life, on the contrary, they are slow in the daytime, love to soak up the sun, and as dusk approaches, the vipers become active and crawl out to hunt. Even her eyes are adapted to seeing in the dark: the pupil can grow and shrink, which is rare in reptiles.
Food for vipers is mainly composed of warm-blooded animals, especially mice, which the snake prefers to any other food. From the observations of scientists it follows that she catches mice not only on the ground, but also underground. Chicks, especially those birds that nest on the ground, often fall prey to the viper. Can hunt for adult birds. She eats frogs and lizards only as a last resort.
Forests of Russia
- Find on the map of natural zones a zone of taiga, a zone of mixed and deciduous forests. What can you tell about them on the map? Learn to show forest areas on the map.
South of the tundra zone becomes warmer. However, there is quite a lot of rainfall here. Due to the sufficient amount of heat and moisture trees can grow here. The tundra zone is gradually replaced by forest tundra, and the forest tundra - by forests.
Our country is often called the great forest power. Indeed, forests occupy more than half of the territory of Russia.
The soils in the forest zones are richer in nutrients than in the tundra, the flora and fauna is much more diverse.
Choose to work in a group one of the tasks.
- Get acquainted with the textbook on the nature of taiga. Consider the herbarium taiga plants. Determine their names with the help of a textbook and determinant atlas. Think about what signs will help you learn these plants in nature.
- Get acquainted with the textbook with the nature of mixed and deciduous forests. Consider the herbarium plants of this forest zone. Determine their names with the help of a textbook and determinant atlas. Think about what signs will help you learn these plants in nature.
- With the help of the drawing of the textbook, get acquainted with the wildlife of the taiga. Find in the text of the textbook information about some animals. What are they especially interesting? On the picture and text of the textbook, tell us about the ecological links in the taiga. Make a model of the food chain, characteristic of taiga.
According to the results of the work make a message to the class.
Different trees require different amounts of heat: one less, the other more. Conifers - spruce (1), pine (2), larch (3), fir (4), cedar pine (5) - are less demanding of heat. They grow well in the northern part of the forest zone. These trees form coniferous forests - taiga.
Summer in the taiga is much warmer than on the tundra, but winter is very cold. There is also permafrost here. True, in summer the surface of the earth thaws to a greater depth than in the tundra. This is very important for trees with their powerful roots.
Let's get acquainted with some animals of the taiga.
Kedrovka is one of the most interesting taiga birds. For the winter, she stores for herself in various secluded places pine nuts - the seeds of cedar pine. She does not find some of these nuts afterwards. And they give shoots in new places. So nutcracker helps cedar pine to multiply and settle.
Chipmunk looks like a squirrel, but almost half its size. The chipmunk's distinguishing feature is five dark stripes along the back. This animal cleverly climbs trees, and lives in a shallow hole under a fallen trunk or under a stump. Chipmunk feeds mainly on pine nuts and other seeds. In his hole, he makes large stocks of food, which he eats in the spring, after hibernation.
The flying squirrel is a relative of the squirrel, slightly smaller in size. Unlike the squirrel, the flying squirrel can not only deftly jump from branch to branch, but also fly, more precisely, plan for a considerable distance - up to 40 - 50 meters! The role of the wings of her play fur-covered skin folds between the front and rear legs.
1. Nutcracker. 2. Falcon-merlin. 3. Flying squirrel. 4. Squirrel. 5. Noble deer. 6. Sable. 7. Elk. 8. Brown bear. 9. Chipmunk. 10. Lynx. 11. White hare. 12. Hazel. 13. Wood grouse. 14. A vole.
Sable is a predator. Its main prey is rodents. Sable prefers to live in a dark, deaf taiga, where spruce, fir, and cedar pine grow. Once sables were numerous, but because of the beautiful, expensive fur they were almost completely destroyed. The creation of reserves has helped save this wonderful beast.
Mixed and deciduous forests
South of the taiga, winter is much milder. Permafrost is not here. These conditions are more favorable for deciduous trees. Therefore, mixed forests are located south of the taiga. Here, as it were, coniferous and deciduous trees.
More southward spread broadleaf forests. They are formed by thermophilic trees with wide, large leaves. These trees include oak (1), maple (2), linden (3), ash (4), elm (5). These breeds are called broad-leaved, unlike the small-leaved ones, which include birch, aspen.
Compare the nature of the tundra and forest zones.
- Show forest areas on the map.
- What natural conditions of forest zones are favorable for the growth of trees?
- Cutting features of taiga, mixed and deciduous forests.
- Give examples of taiga animals.
- What are the environmental links in the taiga?
- Draw how you imagine taiga, mixed and deciduous forest.
- Using the Internet, prepare a message about one of the plants or animals shown in the figure.
In the next lesson
We learn about the role of forests in nature and human life, on environmental issues and nature conservation in forest areas. We will learn to behave properly in the forest.
Remember what you already know about the role of the forest in human life. What rules of conduct must be followed in order not to harm the forest?
Taiga. Plants and animals
The natural zone of the taiga is located in the north of Eurasia and North America. On the North American continent, it stretched from west to east by more than 5 thousand.
km, and in Eurasia, having originated on the Scandinavian Peninsula, spread to the shores of the Pacific Ocean. Eurasian taiga is the largest continuous forest zone on Earth.
It occupies more than 60% of the territory of the Russian Federation. Taiga contains huge reserves of wood and supplies a large amount of oxygen to the atmosphere.
In the north, the taiga smoothly passes into the forest tundra, gradually taiga forests give way to light forests, and then separate groups of trees. The furthest away taiga forests come into the forest tundra along river valleys, which are most protected from strong northern winds.
In the south, the taiga also gradually passes into coniferous-broadleaf and deciduous forests. For many centuries, people have intervened in these landscapes in natural landscapes, so now they are a complex natural-anthropogenic complex.
Taiga almost completely covers the territory of Russia. Posted by: Joonasl
In Europe, taiga forests occupy almost the entire Scandinavian Peninsula and Finland. In Russia, the southern border of taiga begins at about the latitude of St. Petersburg, stretches to the headwaters of the Volga, north of Moscow to the Urals, then to Novosibirsk, and then to Khabarovsk and Nakhodka in the Far East, where they are replaced by mixed forests. All of Western and Eastern Siberia, most of the Far East, the mountain ranges of the Urals, Altai, Sayans, Baikal, Sikhote-Alin, Great Khingan are covered with taiga forests.
The climate of the taiga zone within the temperate climate zone varies from the sea in the west of Eurasia to sharply continental in the east.
In the west, relatively warm summer +10 ° C) and mild winter (-10 ° C), precipitation falls more than can evaporate. Under conditions of excessive moisture, the decomposition products of organic and mineral substances are carried to the “lower soil layers, forming a clarified‘ podzolic horizon, along which the prevailing soils of the taiga zone are called podzolic. Permafrost contributes to the stagnation of moisture, so large areas within this natural zone, especially in the north of European Russia and in Western Siberia, are occupied by lakes, marshes and swampy light forests.
Spruce and pine dominate in dark coniferous forests growing on podzolic and frozen-taiga soils, and, as a rule, there is no undergrowth. Twilight reigns under the interlocking crowns, in the lower tier grow mosses, lichens, forbs, thick fern and berry bushes - lingonberries, blueberries, blueberries. In the north-west of the European part of Russia, pine forests prevail, and on the western slope of the Urals, which is characterized by large clouds, sufficient rainfall and heavy snow cover, spruce-fir and spruce-fir-cedar forests.
On the eastern slope of the Urals, the humidity is less than on the west, and therefore the composition of forest vegetation is different: light coniferous forests dominate - mainly pine, sometimes with larch and cedar (Siberian pine).
Light coniferous forests are characteristic of the Asian part of the taiga.
In the Siberian taiga, summer temperatures in the continental climate rise to +20 ° C, and in winter in northeastern Siberia they can drop to -50 ° C.
On the territory of the West Siberian lowland, mainly larch and spruce forests grow in the northern part, in the central part - pine, in the southern part - spruce, cedar and fir. Light coniferous forests are less demanding on soil and climatic conditions and can grow even on infertile soils.
The crowns of these forests are not closed, and through them the sun's rays freely penetrate the lower tier. The shrub layer of light coniferous taiga consists of alder, dwarf birch and willow, berry bushes.
In Central and Northeastern Siberia, in the conditions of a harsh climate and permafrost, larch taiga dominates. Coniferous forests of North America grow in a temperate continental climate with cool summers and excessive moisture.
The species composition of plants is richer here than in European and Asian taiga. For centuries, almost the entire taiga zone suffered from the negative impact of human activities: slash-and-burn farming, hunting, haymaking in the floodplains of rivers, selective logging, air pollution, etc.
Only in remote areas of Siberia today you can find corners of virgin nature. The balance between natural processes and traditional economic activity, which has been developing for thousands of years, is being destroyed nowadays, and the taiga is like, the natural complex is gradually disappearing.
Forest vegetation forms zones of taiga and mixed forests. At the dawn of humanity, the area of the Earth’s forests was 7.5 billion hectares. Currently, the forest area of the globe is estimated at 3.26 billion.
ha, of which in the CIS forest area is 738 million hectares. Coniferous forests occupy about 77% of the area occupied by forest, their timber resources are equal to 86% of the CIS timber reserves. Within the CIS, taiga and mixed forests occupy 32.4% of the country's area.
The land area of the CIS forest fund is 1,238 million hectares, or 55% of the country's territory.
In the forest zones from west to east, the provincial differences in vegetation cover are well pronounced, due not only to modern climatic conditions, but also to the entire process of natural historical development of the nature of the CIS.
The mechanical composition of the soil, the degree of manifestation of the podzolic process and the nature of wetting affect the distribution of vegetation within each zone, creating certain habitat conditions for individual plants and phytocenoses.
For example, the pine tree, which is less demanding on nutrients, grows on soils of light mechanical composition, varying degrees of podzolization, regardless of the climatic conditions of not only forest, but also adjacent areas.
Forest vegetation has been significantly altered by human activities, especially in mixed forest areas.
Three types of natural vegetation are characteristic of taiga and mixed forests: forest, meadow and marsh.
In the Eastern European part of the taiga are characterized: European and Siberian spruce, pine, Siberian fir in the northeast, Sukachev larch, Siberian cedar pine (Siberian cedar).
In Siberia, the main forest-forming species are spruce, pine, Siberian and Dahurian larches, fir and cedar pine.
Siberian spruce in the Eastern European taiga is widespread, starting from the Kola Peninsula, the European spruce reaches in the east to the Kazan area, in the south - to the northern border of chernozem, the Siberian fir reaches in the west of the upper Sukhona.
Siberian larch prevails in Western Siberia, in the European part - Sukachev larch, reaching the southern tip of the Onega Bay of the White Sea and the eastern shore of the White Lake, from where the boundary of its distribution goes to the upper course of the Kerzhents River and the middle flow of Vetluga.
In Siberia to the east of the Yenisei, in areas of permafrost, Dahurian larch grows, the root system of which is located horizontally above the permafrost.
Siberian cedar pine on the Russian Plain comes slightly west of the middle Pechora. Further, its border goes steeply to the south, not reaching Sverdlovsk. In Western Siberia, cedar pine is characteristic of urman or blackened taiga.
In Central and Eastern Siberia, cedar is available over large areas, it enters the Aldan basin and Eastern Transbaikalia. However, the most typical tree species for these areas is Dahurian larch.
The dwarf form of cedar or cedar elfin is widespread usually in the subalpine belt of mountains, starting from the west of Central Siberia and including the Soviet islands in the seas of the Pacific Ocean.
In the Far East, elements of the Okhotsk flora are represented in the taiga: Ayan spruce, a very ancient species fairly close to one of the fir trees of the Balkan Peninsula, white fir and stone birch.
The latter are not high in the mountains.
In the taiga there are also small-leaved species: birch, aspen, and gray alder. Forests of small-leaved trees are usually of secondary origin, they take up cuttings or burning of coniferous forests. In a number of localities of the European part of the CIS, these rocks form temporary small forests that are not valuable.
Being more light-loving species than spruce and fir, they, without human intervention, usually give up their positions to conifers.
Broad-leafed tree species in the composition of the taiga are almost completely absent, only in the European part they enter the strip of the middle and southern taiga, however, here broad-leaved species are not essential components of plant associations.
The most far north is maple. Maple Arial reaches the northern coast of Lake Ladoga, passes to the Onega Lake, goes around White Lake from the east and goes to
What animals live in the taiga
Kirillov. The northern boundary of the lake lies in the north of Lake Onega, runs along the middle course of the Northern Dvina, slightly south of the confluence of the Vychegda, and north of the Kama River. In the West Siberian Lowland, a shrub form is found, it is found in the Tobolsk region.
The site of the linden forest - “linden island” - is on the western slopes of the Kuznetsk Alatau.
The northern border of Dubaprohod from Vyborg to Leningrad, somewhat south of White Lake, on Vologda, south of Kirov and on the Urals, to the latitude of Sverdlovsk.
The most common in the CIS taiga are larch forests, spruce forests and pine forests.
Spruce is a shade-tolerant breed, forms close plantings with a poor grassy cover on more fertile loamy and moderately moist soil types.
Having a shallow root system, spruce can settle in areas with permafrost, but does not tolerate swamp soils, giving way to pine in such cases. The sharply continental climate for spruce is unfavorable, so in the south it is much less common than pine, which in the river valleys enters the steppe zone. In the composition of the East European spruce forests there are shrubs and herbaceous plants (complex spruce forests), satellites of deciduous tree species.
There is reason to believe that the modern era is more favorable for spruce than for oak and other broad-leaved species. Strong podzolization of the soil leads to the disappearance of oak and some other deciduous tree species, which are replaced by spruce. Fir is fairly close to spruce in terms of environmental conditions, but it is much less common.
Pine is a light-loving breed, little demanding on the soil and on the amount of moisture.
It grows on sandy podzolized sand, on sphagnum bogs, on granite or calcareous rocks. At the site of a spruce forest there is often a pine with birch and aspen. Under their canopy begins the renewal of spruce, which subsequently overtakes the light-loving rocks and displaces them.
Larch is a breed with needles dumped for winter, very widespread in Siberia and the Far East, growing on poorly drained soils (Yakutia), extremely cold-resistant, especially Dahurian larch.
For the high quality of wood, larch by Siberian inhabitants is called “Siberian oak”.
Soil conditions in many places of taiga are quite favorable for agriculture. Obstacles such as excess moisture and the severity of the climate are largely eliminated under the influence of population and culture. Ввиду этого во многих таежных районах были открыты работы по образованию переселенческих участков, которые давали очень удовлетворительные в общем результаты.
Животный мир тайги значительно богаче животного мира лесотундры и тундры.
Таежный лес круглый год обеспечивает животных разнообразными кормами: травами, кустарничками, листьями и ветвями деревьев, почками и семенами древесных пород, хвоей, ягодами, грибами. In the forest, which has its own special microclimate, animals suffer less from abrupt weather changes, in particular from strong winds. Forest crown, hollows of trees, dead ground cover serve as a good protection against predators and are convenient for nest arrangement.
Typical animals of the taiga from mammals are the elk, the brown bear, the lynx, the flying squirrel, the sable, the chipmunk, the colono, the white hare, from the mouse-like rodents are very common red-gray voles.
In the swamps and lichen forests there is, although not often, reindeer, in the past a rather ordinary inhabitant of the taiga.
In the south of the zone are known roe deer and hare.
The bird population of the zone is quite diverse. The most characteristic are wood-grouse, hazel grouse, Zhelna, or black woodpecker, three-toed woodpecker, great variegated woodpecker, small variegated woodpecker, kuksha, nutcracker, or walnut tree, crossbill, blue-headed owl, hawk owl. It is indicative of the increase in the taiga of birds as they move from west to east. Typical taiga birds in the European taiga are 23-26 species, in the West Siberian - 30-33, east of the Yenisei - 57-79.
Reptiles appear - common viper, viviparous lizard, common already, there are several species of amphibians. The world of insects is distinguished by exceptional diversity and wealth.
Suffice it to say that only the fauna of Diptera in the forest landscapes of the USSR has at least 7000-8000 species. In the taiga, the total reserves of zoomass, which are 100-150 kg / ha in the north, and from 160 to 300 kg / ha in the south, grow noticeably. The main part of ce falls on earthworms, the share of vertebrate animals in the total reserves of zoomass is insignificant - on average 2.24 kg / ha.
The coniferous forest of the taiga and the animals that inhabit it are in complex relationships.
The dependence of the animal world on the forest is quite obvious. At the same time, the forest itself is under a very powerful, versatile influence from animals.
A squirrel, in order to feed itself, in one day, gnaws about 30 spruce cones, or up to 130 larch, or up to 200-300 pine, using all the seeds they contain. It is estimated, for example, that in spruce stands of the Arkhangelsk region, only 38% of seeds are sown in the soil, the rest of the seeds are destroyed by squirrel, woodpeckers and crossbills.
Huge damage to stocks of pine nuts cause nutcracker, squirrel, chipmunk, vole. Kedrovka, which arranges numerous storerooms from cedar nuts - from several hundred to several thousand per hectare, actively contributes to the settlement of cedar. Up to 5 kg of selected pine nuts were found in the chipmunk burrows.
In winter, the capercaillie eats about 6 kg of dry needles of pine or cedar each month, thereby greatly depressing many trees, while hazel grouse plucks hardwood nights.
Woodpeckers not only prepare hollows, but also “ring” trees to drink sap, with the result that the bark of some trees, especially birch, resembles a sieve. Pine undergrowth, aspen, mountain ash, willow suffer greatly from moose. The bark and shoots of aspen, willow and many other tree species by spring turn out to be eaten by a hare white hare. Voles leading an active, snowy way of life in winter, in places of their turns, completely eat blueberries, lingonberries, mosses and lichens.
Such places in summer resemble miniature conflagrations. “Obviously, it is the winter activity of voles and lemmings that is the main cause of the extreme uneven distribution of the ground shrub cover, which is so characteristic of northern taiga.
In the summer, many animals willingly eat a lot of mushrooms ... In the taiga, reindeer specifically look for mushrooms and greedily eat them, and according to some information, they even take special migrations. ”
Dangerous pests of coniferous forests - many insects.
Siberian cedar silkworm causes cedar drying on hundreds of thousands of hectares. No less damage to the larch in Siberia is caused by larch moths. Coniferous forests on the Russian plain are particularly affected by pine silkworm and nun butterfly.
Methods of chemical and biological control of forest pests are widely used in forestry practice.
Animals affect more than one vegetation. In some cases, under their influence, special landscape complexes are formed. An excellent example of zoogenic forest tracts are beast solonetz.
According to the observations of E. N. Matyushkina, in the Sikhote-Alin Mountains each such salt-salt visits daily to 30-50 moose and red deer. The grass cover on the solonetz is completely knocked out, there are no trees or very few of them.
In the center of the tract there are pits and cavern-shaped depressions, where the beasts solontsut. Along the outskirts - from animal paths - blurred soil, erosion grooves, fallen trees.
Thus, an open glade arises among the forest, where there is a concentration of blood-sucking dipterans, predators, scavengers, there are pubis and even meadow birds - t.
e. complete landscape complex, brought to life by animal activity.
Another example is beaver logging, development in places where beavers settle. These are areas of heavily littered floodplain forest with randomly scattered and piled on top of each other tree trunks, with a mass of branches and shavings. In the north of the taiga, where the renewal of the forest, in particular birch, occurs with difficulty and slowly, such logging, even abandoned, retains its characteristics for more than a decade.
Source of information: Milkov F.N.
Natural zones of the USSR / F.N. Milkov. - M.: Thought, 1977. - 296 p.