Canada is one seriously huge place! Measuring 4,600km from north to south, the country spans more than half the Northern Hemisphere. And at a whopping 5,500km from east to west, it stretches across six time zones! A vast, rugged land, Canada is the second largest country in the world (Russia being the largest) but only 0.5% of the world’s population live there.
Canada has a varied landscape, with majestic mountains, rolling plains, forested valleys, and beautiful blue rivers and lakes. The Canadian Shield, a hilly region of lakes and swamps, stretches across northern Canada and has some of the oldest rocks on Earth.
In Canada’s far north lies the frozen Arctic. Here, ice, snow and glaciers dominate the landscape. Brrrrrr! Despite the cold, harsh climate, Native Canadians, called First Nations people, live in this region, where they hunt and fish for food.
Canada’s wildlife and nature
Canada’s remote north and extensive forests are home to lots of wonderful wildlife, from bears, wolves, deer, mountain lions, beavers and bighorn sheep, to smaller animals such as raccoons, otters and rabbits. The country’s lakes and rivers – which contain about 20 percent of all fresh water on Earth – are full of fish such as trout and salmon.
Canada’s prairies (open grasslands) in the south are home to American buffalo and pronghorn antelope. And in the sprawling evergreen forests of northern Canada, moose and black bears are amongst the amazing animals that can be found. Even farther north, herds of reindeer and musk ox roam the cold, bare tundra.
Canadians work hard to protect their native wildlife, and the country has 41 national parks and three marine conservation areas. Nevertheless, species like wolves, lynx and Atlantic fish have faced threats from overhunting and overfishing.