Description of Bird Conservation Region 6
The Boreal Taiga Plains region is dominated by the Mackenzie River and its tributaries in its northern portion and the boreal transition zone in the south. Black spruce is a dominant species in the open, coniferous forests of the north while the warmer better-drained southerly locales support mixed-wood forests of white and black spruce, lodgepole pine, tamarack, white birch, trembling aspen, and balsam poplar. Low-lying wetlands cover 25-50 percent of the zone, and patterned ground features are common. A large portion of the area is underlain by permafrost, creating a landscape that is seasonally waterlogged over large areas. Important birds of the region include Whooping Crane, American White Pelican, Marsh Wren, Wilson's Phalarope, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Mountain Bluebird, Great Gray Owl, Swainson's Hawk and Fox Sparrow. The Mackenzie Valley forms one of North America's most traveled migratory corridors for waterfowl breeding along the Arctic Coast.
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