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Taiga Cordillera. Luke Sirna. The Taiga Cordillera is located along the Northwest Territories/ Yukon Border and continues into Alaska. Towards the south of the Taiga Cordillera, there is a higher elevation, which are the rocky mountains. The North is flatter, and is bordered by the Tundra. .

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The Taiga Cordillera is located along the Northwest Territories/ Yukon Border and continues into Alaska.

Towards the south of the Taiga Cordillera, there is a higher elevation, which are the rocky mountains. The North is flatter, and is bordered by the Tundra.

  • The Taiga Cordillera gets about 200mm of precipitation per year
  • The winters are long, cold and dark
  • The summers are short and cool
  • The average temperature in winter is -10C
  • The average summer temperature is 10C
  • Although the Taiga Cordillera is very far north, it is warmer than a Tundra
  • The Rocky Mountains shield the Taiga from cold Pacific Ocean air

In the mountainous south there are Dall’s sheep, mountain goats, and grizzly bears


In the north there caribou, moose, coyote, red fox, mink, wolverine, lynx, martin, hoary marmot and black bears

Bird species include, gyrfalcon, golden eagle, bald eagles, osprey, and northern, goshawk

wetlands in the biome
Wetlands in The Biome

The Rivers as well as the northern Arctic Ocean in the Taiga Cordillera are home to water fowl like canvasback, the common golden eye, the trumpeter swan and the mallard duck.

Some fish that live there are, chum salmon, Chinook salmon, white fish, lake dub, arctic char, northern pike.


In the south, lichens, sedges and mosses cover the ground. There is permafrost in the area near the Tundra.

In the north, there are more alpine fir, willow, and birch shrubs. All trees are coniferous.

symbiotic relationships
Symbiotic Relationships
  • The Black Spruce needs lichens to decompose the dead wood
  • This cleans the tree and makes it healthier
  • The lichens get their food from this.
threats and human activities
Threats And Human Activities

In the Yukon, there are only 28, 294 people living in the Taiga Cordillera.

Hunting, fishing and trapping is not an issue; all activities like this are subsistence only.

One major concern is the decomposition of wastes. Most waste is burned.

adventure tourism
Adventure Tourism
  • Adventure tourism brings large numbers of people to remote areas
  • Waste is not taken care of and is a danger to the ecosystem
  • Humans may disturb animals habitats, with camping grounds, or on tours
  • There most prominent threat to the Taiga Cordillera is mines
  • One example is Giant Mine
  • Giant mine was closed in 1992, but there are chemicals stored in the empty mine shafts
  • The chemical is arsenic trioxide, and is a bi-product in gold and copper refining (and also produced through combustion of arsenic)
  • It was originally though that the ground would be frozen solid all year
  • Due to global warming, the arsenic trioxide may enter the soil, or worse the water table.
giant mine
Giant Mine
  • Although not located in The Yukon, Giant Mine is located in the North West Territories, and is a threat to the Boreal Forest Biome
  • In the Giant Mine, there 270,000 tonnes of arsenic trioxide in Giant mine
  • There are four other mines located in the Taiga Cordillera, including the largest mine called Dawson Mine
  • Gold and copper are mined at the Dawson Mine
giant mine contamination
Giant Mine Contamination
  • Arsenic trioxide is soluble in water
  • Arsenic trioxide is usually absorbed by the digestive system
  • It may be absorbed through the skin
  • Arsenic trioxide is lethal as it builds up in the body
  • The logging industry plays a very small role in the Taiga Cordillera
  • The majority of logging threats are in Alaska
  • There are Canadian restrictions on logging in protected areas
invasive species
Invasive Species
  • The fewest invasive species are found in the Taiga Cordillera and the Tundra Cordillera
  • Most invasive species in Taiga Cordillera are plant species
  • It is estimated that there are between 7 and 20 invasive species in the Taiga Cordillera
  • Foxtail barley and white sweetclover are the most distructive
invasive plants
Invasive Plants
  • Foxtail Barley looks nice, but can get caught in the eyes and throats of many small animals
  • White Sweetclover can grow up to 2 meters high in drained areas, but takes all moisture out of the soil, choking out other plants
phytoremediation with arsenic
Phytoremediation with Arsenic

Phytoremediation is removing contaminants from the soil through the use of plants.

  • There is now more research regarding phytoremediation and arsenic
  • Scientists are using Chinese brake ferns, which can store the arsenic in their shoots
  • These plants may not be able to survive in the taiga cordillera
bioremediation with arsenic
Bioremediation with Arsenic
  • Bioremediation removes contaminants through microbiological metabolism
  • Research has found that iron oxidizing bacteria have the ability to metabolize arsenic
  • Bioremediation is sometimes avoided because it may effect the balance of the ecosystem in other ways
  • The city of Yellowknife is paying $400 million to clean up Giant Mine
  • The Frozen Block Alternative will keep the arsenic trioxide chambers frozen
  • The US Government made State Parks in Alaska, such as Denali Park thus restricting logging
  • More national parks will be created
There are new laws regarding waste management in Nahanni National Park Reserve, Aualvik National Park, and Vuntut National Park

Aualvik National Park

Nahanni National Park

global warming
Global Warming
  • There is an extending tree line, and lichens are starting to move farther north
  • Species may become extinct with loss of habitat
  • More ecofriendly choices can be made, with appropriate disposal of chemicals, and housing materials and with water management programs
  • The Taiga Cordillera has been pretty well preserved
  • What has been damaged in now being repaired
  • Companies and the government learn from areas like Giant Mine and use them as examples of how mines should operate in the future
the future
The Future
  • After the Taiga Cordillera has been repaired, we need to ensure more precautions are taken to keep it sustainable
  • Adventure tourism and pollution should be kept to a minimum











Text References:

World Book Encyclopedia – 2007 – B – Boreal Forest

Bioremediation and Groundwater Recovery – by: Anastasios Zouboulis – Aristotle University

bibliography cont d
Bibliography cont’d