God made the earth and everything on this planet in six days and on the third day he made all the fruit bearing trees, flowers, seed and all types of flora. Being a creationist, I believe that God blessed the earth and its creatures with all sorts of forests that have been the habitat of all sorts of fauna. Earth treasures a diverse variety of forests that are mystical in their own ways. There are many types of forests namely the rain forests, tropical forests, coniferous forests, mangrove forests, etc. These forests are important for our survival as they are not only a natural home for many animals but also crucial for maintaining the average temperature of the planet and checking carbon dioxide levels which have been increasing to a disturbing level. With the Homo sapiens expanding their territory, the existence of many such significant forests is becoming a concern. We have on this earth some of the largest and densest forests, of which some are those which haven’t even been stepped upon yet by humans and God only knows what mysteries they have concealed in them.
10. Sinharaja Forests, Srilanka
Sinharaja rainforests are the most prominent rain forest of Srilanka and are located in its south-west lowland wet zone. The forest was declared a biosphere reserve in 1978 by UNESCO and is a home for a large number of endemic trees, birds, mammals, butterflies and rare insects. Its name literally means lion king; sinha is for lion and raja for king. It is the living place for many endangered species like Srilanka wood pigeon, ashy-head babbler, Srilanka broad billed roller, python, etc.
9. Valdivian Temperate Rain Forest
The Valdivian Temperate rain forest, usually foggy, is located on the west coast of southern South America, extending mostly to Chile and some parts of Argentina, spread over about 248,100 square kilometers. The exquisiteness of this rain forest is magnified by dense bamboo, conifers, evergreen angiosperm trees, ferns, narrow coastal strips, ice sheets and glaciers. These are temperate broadleaf and mixed forests. The ecosystems of the forests are constantly threatened and endangered and have a high degree of endemism in the area. Agriculture of exotic species by clearing the forests of its native species is a reason for concern. These forests are a refuge for the Antarctic flora. They also share many plant families with the temperate rainforests of New Zealand, Tasmania, and Australia too.
8. Emas National Park and Chapada Dos Veadeiros, Brazil
The two sites included here are the forests that contain flora and fauna and habitats that are the prominent characteristics of the earth’s oldest and diverse tropical ecosystems, the Cerrado Ecoregion. Emas National Park, a national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site is locate between the states of Goiás and Mato Grosso do Sul in the Centre-West Region of Brazil and is surrounded by an array of soybean plantations. The Chapada Dos Veadeiros is named after the ancient plateau, Chapada dos Veadeiros on which it is located, primary location is Brazil covering an area of 655 square kilometers. It has the oldest rock formations in the world and has a number of waterfalls. These have diverse kinds of vegetation and wildlife in them including giant anteater, giant armadillo, maned wolf, jaguar and pampas deer.
7. The Monteverade Forest, Costa Rica
This forest is one of the most important tourist locations of Costa Rica. It is located in the city of Monteverade. Monteverade in Spanish means green mountain. This large reserve is home to about 30 species of humming birds, 100 species of mammals and more than 400 species of birds including resplendent quetzal, bell bird and thousands of species of plants.
6. Kinabalu National Park
Kinabalu National Park is one of the first national parks in Malaysia and was established in 1964. It surrounds Borneo’s highest and world’s youngest non-volcanic mountain Mount Kinabalu covering an area of 754 square kilometres. It is diverse in plant and animal species and many of those are endemic. It was also declared a World Heritage Site in 2000 by UNESCO and is home to 4500 species of flora and fauna, including 326 bird and around 100 mammal species.
5. Ecuador Cloud Forest
Now you must be wondering what are cloud forests? A cloud forest is also called a fog forest and is characterized by a persistent cloud cover usually at the canopy level. It is a lowland rain forest with 15-17 percent of the world’s plant species and 20 percent of bird species. It is ranked at the fourth position in avian diversity with its magnificent number of about 1500 species of birds. Its survival is in question because of the increasing deforestation rates and it is said that these forests will completely vanish within the next 30 years. These forests are home to many species like Spectacled Bear, Jaguar, Sloth, Howler Monkey, puma, etc.
4. Daintree, Australia
It is located in the north-eastern part of Queensland in Australia. It is said to be as old as 135 million years and hence is the world’s oldest surviving rain forest. It is the largest rain forest in Australia and covers about 2600 square kilometres. The rain forest is home to many exotic plants and animals including 30 percent of Australia’s reptiles, marsupial and frog species, 18 percent bird species, and 65 percent bat and butterfly species and over 12000 species of insects. Daintree forest is named after Richard Daintree who was an Australian geologist and photographer. It was declared a World Heritage in 1988. It is a home for Southern Cassowary, Bennett’s Tree Kangaroo and many other endangered and rare animals.
3. Congo Rain Forest
The Congo forest got its name from the river flowing in it called the Congo River which is one of the longest rivers in the world and both of these were the subject of Joseph Conrad’s famous book The Heart of Darkness. Almost 70 percent of the plant cover in the African subcontinent is represented by the Congo. It is covering a vast area of Central Africa through Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo. It is becoming an increasingly fragile ecosystem day by day because of the deforestation, commercial logging, and clearing off forests for agricultural purposes. Hunting and poaching of the animals for their meat called bush meat has rendered many species endangered. A widespread population and increasing poverty has only helped in the expansion of the bush meat trade. The Congo rain forest is the only known habitat of the pygmy chimpanzee. Other animals living in the Congo Basin are the hippopotamus, okapi, gorillas, African elephants, etc. Most population of the Democratic Republic of Congo depend on this forest for its needs of food, medicine and shelter.
Taiga, also called the Boreal Forests is considered to be the world’s largest land biome consisting of coniferous forests. The Taiga forest consists of almost one-third of all the trees in the world. This forest has the biggest impact on the carbon dioxide levels and is locate just below the tundra line and receives sunlight only for a month in a year thus it takes almost more than 50 years for the seeds to grow into just a sapling’s size. It forms 29 percent of the world’s forest cover. The soil in the Taiga forest is poor in nutrients and acidic. These forests are dominated by larch, spruce, fir and pine trees mostly along with some broadleaf trees like birch, willow, aspen, etc. These are also home for a large range of animals including Alaska Blackfish, moose, reindeer, Canada lynx, Siberian tiger, etc. Clear cutting and forest fires have posed a threat on this forest’s existence and survival.
1. The Amazon Forests
The Amazon forest is the largest rain forest of the world and it is so big that it will dwarf all of the rain forests in the world taken together. It is spread around eight countries namely Brazil, Bolivia, Columbia, French Guyana, Surinam, Peru, Ecuador and Venezuela, covering about 5.5 million square kilometers. It is a home to the most diverse kinds of vegetation and animals with its various kinds of ecosystems including jaguars, tapirs and howler monkeys. About 20 percent of the earth’s oxygen content is produced by the Amazon alone. It gets its name from the world’s largest river that flows in it, the Amazon River. One fifth of all the fresh water in liquid form on this earth accounts to the Amazon River Basin. Most of the Amazonian lowlands are always flooded and the major forest realm is formed by the highlands.