Canada is a vast country, the second largest in the world. It’s renowned for its beautiful scenery and myriad one-of-a-kind landscapes and habitats.

It’s within these very habitats that one can spot Canadian native animals. From the wood bison to the Atlantic whitefish, it’s home to animals that aren’t found anywhere else on the planet. 

Read on to learn more about these unique animals. 

Bighorn Sheep 

Photo by DefendersOfWildlife

Found distributed across British Columbia and western Alberta, the bighorn sheep thrives in dry climates with rugged terrain rife with basic greens such as grass and herbs. No surprise, they’re herbivores! 

The bighorn’s ideal environment has a dry climate and is rugged with areas plentiful of low grasses and herbs.

In size, the bighorn is around 1.5 times larger than domestic sheep, and can weight anywhere between 50 and 140kg.

The males have ginormous horns, whilst the females are smaller and less curved. In fact, the male’s horns are so big that it’s common for them to weigh more than the rest of their body.

Their coats are all types of brown, with the tone changing throughout the year.

Bighorn sheep are social and often found in packs of up to 20. Their lifespan is between 10 – 15 years.

Eastern Wolf

Photo by NYwolf

The Eastern Wolf, also known as the timber wolf, or Algonquin wolf, can be found residing in the Great Lakes, as well as the St. Lawrence regions of Quebec and Ontario.

It is presumed to be related to the grey wolf or red wolf families.

In size, the eastern wolf averages anywhere between 20 and 35kg, and whilst its maximum lifespan is 15 years, the average lifespan de facto is closer to 4 years.

Due to its size, the prey of choice for eastern wolves  includes deer and braves, animals that are small to medium in size.

Wood Bison

Photo by AnimalSpot 

Habitat loss and disease mean that wood bison are roaming the open meadows, forests, and even savannahs, of Canada, in increasingly low numbers.

Wood bison are herbivorous herd animals. Their main source of food includes grass, hedges, shrubs, and a variety of herbs, and even then, they are known to weigh up to ​​a whopping 1000kg.

They are often the prey of choice for grey wolves, and their lifespan in the wild averages at around 20 years.

Canada Goose

Photo by eBird

This list would be incomplete without the Canadian Goose. Featuring a brown-feathered back and a black neck and head, Canada geese can be found in abundance enjoying the country’s marshes, lakes, and even fields.

Their attraction to lawn environments mean that they are often found in commercial areas too, such as airports and golf courses.

Their food of choice is largely plant-based, consisting of grass, grains, berries, cabbage, and the like.

Their life span is anywhere from 10 to 24 years, in the wild. In zoo captivity, this can increase to 40 years.

Peary Caribou

Photo by NatureCanada

The Peary Caribou is the smallest division of the Caribou population, more commonly known as Reindeer. 

They are found inhabiting the Canadian Arctic Archipelago where they enjoy feeding on grass, moss, willow, and other plant-based matter. 

The biggest risk to their further endangerment as a species is the severity of Canadian winters resultantly causing difficulty foraging.

Fortunately, they do manage to adapt to the harsh winters in some ways, such as through their dense coats.

At present, their life span is around the 15 year mark.

Canada Lynx

Photo by Observation

It’s hard to come by a Canada Lynx. These solitary hunters are territorial in nature and reside all across Canada, albeit avoiding open areas, and are at their most active at night.

Closely resembling bobcats, they are certainly a sight to behold. Their hair is long, their ears triangular, and their paws, broad.

They have a reputation for ambushing their prey which primarily consists of snowshoe hares, along with ducks, deers, and a range of rodents.

Their lifespan averages anywhere between 10 and 20 years.

Atlantic Whitefish

Photo by Species at Risk

Last but in no way least is the Atlantic whitefish. Belonging to the salmon family, they are found in the freshwater lakes of Nova Scotia.

They are silver in color with a dark blue/green back. When adults, they can reach a length of 40cm. Their diet largely consists of small fish, invertebrates, amphipods, and marine worms.

Sadly, the Atlantic whitefish is considered to be endangered. In the past, they would often migrate to rivers but dams and boundaries have blocked their paths to do so.

Additionally, the lakes where they do reside are now home to the non-native smallmouth bass and chain pickerels, both of which prey upon Atlantic whitefish.

Canada is undoubtedly home to more than hockey and maple syrup. It’s the native land to an enormous variety of animals, just as a handful of which are outlined above.

Have you ever stumbled upon one of these majestic creatures? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!

Categories: Wildlife


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