1. The Boreal Forest is named after Boreas, the Greek god of the North wind.
2. The biome is known as boreal in Canada, but is also known as taiga, a Russian word. Taiga is most commonly used to refer to the biome's more barren northern locations while boreal is used for the more temperate, southern area (we're just using boreal for ease).
3. The boreal covers most of inland Canada and Alaska, most of Sweden, Finland and inland Norway, much of Russia, and the northern parts of Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Japan.
4. The boreal represents 29% of the world's forest cover.
5. While typically low on biodiversity, the boreal around the globe supports a range of animals. Canada's boreal forest is home to 85 species of mammals, 130 species of fish, some 32,000 species of insects, and 300 species of birds.
6. Of the 300 bird species that call Canada's boreal forest home during the summer, only 30 stay through the winter.
7. The boreal is COLD. The lowest recorded temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere were recorded in the boreal (or taiga) of northeastern Russia. It can easily get as cold as -65°F in the northern areas during winter.
8. The zone of latitude occupied by the boreal forest has seen some of the most dramatic temperature increases, especially in winter and especially during the last quarter of the 20th century.
© Lauren Holly Best, all rights reserved