Forest Wildlife


Every species of wildlife lives in its own preferred habitat. Within its habitat an animal carries out all activities it needs to survive such as finding food and water, seeking shelter from predators and weather and space.


Each species performs a specific function in the ecosystem that directly or indirectly benefits the environment and other organisms, including humans. For example, many birds scatter seeds throughout the forests. Frogs may reduce the numbers of mosquitoes by consuming on them. Similarly, insectivorous birds, such as the woodpecker can benefit trees by consuming insects living on bark, leaves, or branches. Rodents can turn over the soil and recycle nutrients. By providing different habitats for wildlife is imperative to maintain the diverse and abundant wildlife in the state.

Maintaining different types of forests provides the needed habitat for all the different wildlife species that call California home. Properly-arranged habitats improve wildlife survival. Forestland owners invest millions each year to create ideal habitat units across the state to help increase wildlife numbers.

Young, Open Forests

Young, open forests occur following disturbances such as fire, earthquakes, windstorms and logging. Shrubs, berries, grasses and young trees are the first to sprout in the open areas from the ample sunlight. Ample sunlight Bobcats, deer and rodents live in young forests


Middle-Aged Forests

The trees in a middle-aged forest have more established trees. The weaker trees and other vegetation are out-grown opening up the canopy for understory to grow such as shrubs and grasses. Many species use this type of environment including black bears, red-tailed hawks and raccoons.


Mature Forests

Mature forests include trees of many different ages with a more diverse and complex understory and canopy. Large fallen rotting logs and snags are great structure for certain species. Goshawks, squirrels and spotted owls can be found in this habitat.