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The Subalpine Wildlife

Snowshoe Hare camoflaged in the snowThe occurrence of animal species in the Subalpine Subregion generally overlaps with the Subregions above and below. Some species are common to both the Montane and Subalpine Subregions while others occur in both the Subalpine and Alpine Subregions. Species of the coniferous forests are widespread throughout the Foothills and Boreal Forest Natural Region including spruce grouse, gray jay, golden and ruby-crowned kinglets, yellow-rumped warblers, pine siskin, boreal chickadee, marten, snowshoe hare, black bear, deer mouse, red-backed vole and red squirrel.

Several Subalpine forest birds are restricted to the Rocky Mountain Natural Regions including Steller's jay, varied thrush and Townsend's warbler. These species, along with winter wren, are most common in the Main Ranges along the Continental Divide and in the extreme southwest.

A few species are confined to the northern part of the Subregion, such as willow ptarmigan, mountain caribou and golden-crowned sparrow.

Golden-Mantled Ground SquirrelTypical of higher elevations near timberline are hermit thrush, white-crowned sparrow, Brewer's sparrow, and golden-crowned sparrow. Rock fields are used by golden-mantled ground squirrel, yellow pine chipmunk, least chipmunk, pika and hoary marmot. American dippers and harlequin ducks occur along fast-flowing streams.

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