Characteristics of Animals

The animals in the Temperate Rainforest biome are as varied as the amount of trees in the same area. Because of its mild climate, many animals are able to make this biome their home.

The salmon swims amazing distances to mate and lay eggs.

The primary consumers in the Temperate Rainforest are mainly small animals. The forest provides food, shelter, and mild temperatures and humidity. This encourages the growth of many kinds of insects; it can be even considered a paradise for mosquitoes! In addition, the seed-eating bird and small mammal population (including voles, chipmunks, squirrels) make up a large part of the primary consumer population of this biome, consuming seeds, grasses, and fungi. Larger primary consumers, such as the deer and elk, also find food and habitat in this unique biome. One of the more interesting primary consumers is the salmon because of the long distances they swim. These fish hatch from eggs in the cold mountain streams and eat tiny underwater organisms and dead insects that have fallen in the water. The salmon swims long distances down the river to the ocean, where they mature. Once they have grown to maturity, they return to the river from the ocean to lay their eggs and start the next generation.

The deer is one of the primary consumers in this biome.

The Temperate Rainforest is also home to secondary consumers that are mainly found on the forest floor. Tiny shrews devour the insects, and frogs catch insects as they fly by. There are many insect-eating birds as well, some of which includes woodpeckers that are adapted to finding insects in the trees. Weasels eat small animals, and raccoons eat animals, fishes, frogs, and fruits. Insects live as parasites on other animals. The Temperate Rainforest has a very high biodiversity and they ecosystem is also very healthy. Large tertiary consumers, such as wolves, bears, and cougars, are the only ones who eat deer or elk. However, once they have made a kill, smaller carnivores may move in to get a share. Most of the animals in this forest live on or near the ground, where there is lots of food, and the trees provide shelter from sun, wind, and rain. Beetles burrow in the moss and hide in the bark of trees. Woodpeckers and birds eat the insects. The voles and the deer eat grass.

Profile: American Black Bear

The American Black Bear (Ursus americanus) is the most common bear species native to North America. It lives throughout much of the North American continent, from northern Canada to southern Mexico, because they can adapt to their environment easily. Not surprisingly, the Black Bear also thrives in the Temperate Rainforest biome. The mature bear has a large body, small eyes, rounded ears, a long snout, a short tail, and an excellent sense of smell. The American Black Bear is quite the opportunistic hunter; it consumes whatever is available to them, including nuts and berries, plants, insects, small mammals, and carrion. One of their subspecies is the Kermode (or Spirit) bear, which lives only in this biome. In previous years, the Kermode bear had been mistaken as misplaced polar bears when spotted in British Columbia because their bluish-white fur was similar to that of the polar bear.