Taiga





many tributaries. With an area of about 550 000 square kilometres, it is Canada\'s sixth largest ecozone. Approximately 90% of the Taiga Plains is located in the western Northwest Territories, with small extensions into northeastern British Columbia and northern Alberta. It is bounded to the east by Great Bear and Great Slave lakes, to the west by the rolling foothills of the Mackenzie Mountains, to the north by the Mackenzie Delta, and to the south by the spruce forest of the Boreal Plains.
The northern reaches of the ecozone feature a rich diversity of plants, birds, and mammals from both the Subarctic and the Arctic. The southern portion is home to the world\'s largest Wood Bison herd, contains the only known nesting site of the endangered Whooping Crane, and encompasses the sprawling Peace-Athabasca Delta, a wetland habitat of global significance.
Settlement of the Taiga Plains began around 11 000 years ago, near the end of the last ice age. At this time the Paleo-Indian people began moving through an ice-free corridor that stretched down the Mackenzie Valley to the Peace-Athabaska area of western Alberta. Over the past 300 years, the area has played a major role in the northern fur trade, development of frontier oil and gas resources, and provision of a major water transportation route through northwestern Canada.





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