What Animals Live in the Temperate Zone?

Some temperate zone animals include deer, bears, wolves, small mammals, raptors and songbirds. Temperate zone animals have an array of adaptations for surviving the cold winters of their habitat.

The Earth’s temperate zones are those lying between the tropical and polar regions. The classic temperate habitat is the temperate deciduous forest, but this climate also includes grasslands and coniferous woodlands. Common animals of temperate deciduous forests include raccoons, bears, red and grey foxes, various species of deer and a multitude of songbirds. Temperate coniferous forests include the forests of the Pacific Northwest and southern South America. Elk and spotted owl inhabit North American temperate coniferous woodlands. The coniferous forests of southern South America are home to several endemic species of frogs and toads and an arboreal marsupial; these species live nowhere else on Earth. Temperate grasslands, like the American plains and Eurasian steppes, are home to bison, wolves, coyotes, swift foxes, quail and prairie dogs. Temperate grasslands have lower biodiversity than other temperate regions, but the overall abundance of fauna remains high.

Temperate zone animals must utilize strategies like hibernation and migration to survive the sometimes harsh winters. Flyways, the migration paths of raptors, songbirds and waterfowl, crisscross temperate zones as birds make their way between summer and winter territories. Other animals store food, such as seeds and nuts, for the cold winter months.