The taiga is a special type of coniferous forest found only in the far north. The word taiga comes from the Russian language and means: dense, impenetrable, often swampy forest. The taiga only exists in the northern hemisphere, because there is not enough land area in the southern hemisphere in this climate zone. The ground in the taiga remains frozen all year round in many places, so it is permafrost.
The taiga is located in the cold-temperate climate zone. There are long, cold winters here with lots of snow. The summers are short, but it can also get very hot at times. The largest taiga area that still fully corresponds to nature is on the border between Canada and Alaska. In Europe, for example, large taiga areas can be found in Sweden and Finland. North of the taiga lies the tundra.
The taiga is also called “Boreal coniferous forest”. Namely, in the taiga mainly coniferous trees grow spruce, pine, fir, and larch. This is mainly because conifers are always green. In this way, they can use what little sunlight there is throughout the year to carry out their photosynthesis. These trees are quite slender so they can carry the snow on the branches. They are not as dense as in our forests, so there is plenty of room in between for bushes, especially blueberries, and dense carpets of moss and lichen. In some river valleys, there are wet areas. Birches and aspens, i.e. deciduous trees, can also grow there.
Many mammals from the marten family live in the taiga, including the otter. But there are also many reindeer, moose, wolves, lynxes, brown bears, red foxes, rabbits, beavers, squirrels, coyotes and skunks, and other mammals. There are also around 300 different bird species. However, it is too cold in the taiga for amphibians and reptiles.