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Virtual Canada Photo Library
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Bighorn Sheep photo
Grizzly Bear photo
Grizzly Bear photo
    
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Canada has many differing ecosystems, ranging from lush forests of British Columbia, the prairies of Western Canada, to the tundra of the Northern Canada. With a large land mass, and small population density, the wildlands of Canada provide an important habitat for many animals, including endangered species.

Mammals are found in all the regions of Canada. Members of six orders of placental mammals inhabit Canada. They are the bats, carnivores (including the pinnipeds), artiodactyls, cetaceans, insectivores, and rodents (including the lagomorphs). Additionally, one species of marsupial, the opossum, can now be found in southern Canada. Because of its large wild spaces, Canada is home to many large mammals, some of which have been extirpated in more densely populated areas, for example large predators such as the gray wolf and the brown bear. Well known as "Canadian" are those mammals that are comfortable in the north, such as the caribou, the moose, the wolverine, and the musk ox. Other prominent Canadian mammals are the Canada lynx, and the North American beaver, which is a major symbol of Canada.

Canada has462 species of bird. The two most diverse orders are the passerines and the charadriiformes. The most commonly known birds include the Canada goose, snowy owl, and the common raven. Another prominent Canadian bird is the whooping crane, whose only breeding grounds are protected in Wood Buffalo National Park.

Canada has forty-three species of reptile, including turtles, lizards, and snakes. Of the major types of reptile, only crocodiles are not found in Canada. Canada has twenty-five species of snake, representing three families. Most Canadian snakes are members of the colubrid family, including several species of garter snake. Additionally, the western provinces have species of pit viper, such as the western rattlesnake, and British Columbia has Canada's only species of boa, the rubber boa. Canada is home to six species of lizard, all living along the southern border with the United States. Canada also has twelve species of turtle, representing six families. A common turtle in Canada is the painted turtle, which can be found in all ten of Canada's southern provinces, except Newfoundland and Labrador. Nunavut, the Yukon, and Newfoundland & Labrador have no reptiles.

Canada has forty-three types of amphibian, including salamanders as well as frogs and toads. Canada's salamanders are found in all ten provinces, but none live in the three northern territories. Notable salamanders of Canada include the common spotted salamander of eastern Canada, and the rare pacific giant salamander of British Columbia's coastal rainforest. Frogs and toads are found in every region of Canada, though more are found in the south. Canada is home to five families of frogs and toads, including the true frogs, true toads, and tree frogs, which are found in every province and territory (except Nunavut, which only has true frogs), the spadefoots, which are found in the prairie provinces, and the tailed frog, which is found only in British Columbia.

Canada's rivers are famous for fish especially Atlantic salmon on the east coast and, on the west coast, Pacific salmon. Canada's many freshwater lakes and streams are home to rainbow trout, Arctic char, and brook trout. There are significant commercial fisheries in many salt-water species, including Atlantic cod, haddock and halibut, although some of these are in decline.



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