Many creatures can only survive in very particular habitats. The Newfoundland pine marten, for example, depends on old-growth forests full of fallen logs, rotting leaves, and stumps. Cleared woods and new forests replanted after logging fail to serve the needs of this species. Nearly 70 percent of this marten's habitat has already been lost through logging.
Although other Canadian provinces and territories have pine martens, the Newfoundland species is found nowhere else in the world. Luckily there are groups trying to help it survive. For example, the Canadian Forest Service is working to make sure the Newfoundland pine marten never disappears. Read more about their efforts here.
Countless other species of wildlife depend on rainforests for their survival. People all over the world are working hard to save these exotic habitats, especially in South America, but we mustn't forget that Canada itself has some important rainforests; they play host to an amazing diversity of wildlife!
One of Canada's rainforest zones is found along the coast of British Columbia. Another is located in the southeastern part of the province. It's so soggy in some parts of the coastal rain forest that trees have trouble even growing. In fact, some trees are 400 years old, but only three metres high!
These special habitats are being threatened by flooding from hydroelectric projects, logging, and urbanization. Over 100 species of rare plants are found in the B.C. coastal rain forest and many of the wildlife species that live there are at risk. Newly discovered species of spiders, mites, and insects are being studied there all the time.
- Contact your provincial forestry department to find out if one of these areas is located near you.
- Visit the area and spend time getting to know this incredible habitat. Learn all about the species that flap, leap, howl, squeak, and flower there. How many years did it take to develop this space? Is it protected? Is any human development planned there?
- Could you protect the forest by writing letters or by giving presentations? Lots of people are unaware of how important it is to take care of these forests; this is your chance to let them know!