Canada's Coastal Rainforest
Canada's coastal rainforest is one of the wettest non-tropical areas in the world and because few species of trees can grow in the coastal temperate rainforest, the forest is dominated by a relatively small number of tree species, mostly the coniferous trees.
The forest sustains some of the largest remaining wild Pacific salmon runs in its rivers and streams. Salmon are born in freshwater and migrate down rivers to the ocean where they spend most of their adult life. They return to freshwater to spawn and die, bringing nutrients from the ocean to the land
Many species of birds inhabit the coastal temperate rainforest. The Bald Eagle is one of the most recognizable birds of the coastal rainforest. Indeed, most of the breeding Canadian population of this species is found along the coast of British Columbia
The rainforest provides the perfect habitat for small mammals, like voles and martens. Some large herbivores, like Black-tailed Deer, can be found throughout the year in the coastal rainforest. The forest also supports large carnivores that hunt for their prey using the shade of trees for cover.
The coastal rainforest is very important to humans. For example, the forest is of critical importance for the way of life and culture of its First Nations inhabitants. We need some of its resources, like timber, to build our homes and make paper products. We also enjoy the rainforest for hiking, fishing, camping and observing wildlife. Some of the species of plants found in the rainforest even have medicinal qualities. For these reasons, and because of the hundreds of species it hosts, it is essential to maintain this important ecosystem.
photo credit: John Deal & Hinterland Who's Who