Posted by: cherylyoung | December 22, 2012

THE GREAT CANADIAN BEAR RAINFOREST IS ONE OF THE LARGEST TRACTS OF TEMPERATE RAINFOREST LEFT IN THE WORLD

 

 
 
The Great Bear Rainforest is nestled between the Pacific
 
Ocean and the Coast Mountain Range on the west
 
coast of British Columbia.
 
 
 
The ancient Great Bear Rainforest is one of the largest
 
tracts of temperate rainforest left in the world
 
 
(2 million hectares), and is home to thousands of
 
species of plants, birds and animals. In this lush rainforest
 
stand 1,000-year-old cedar trees and 90-metre tall
 
Sitka spruce trees.
 
Rich salmon streams weave through valley bottoms that
 
provide food for magnificent creatures such as orcas
 
(killer whales), eagles, wolves, black bears, grizzlies, and
 
the rare and mysterious white Kermode (Spirit) bear.
 

Coastal temperate rainforests constitute one of the most

endangered forest types on the planet. Rare to begin with,

they originally covered less than 1/5 of 1 percent of the

earth’s land surface.

 

Coastal temperate rainforests have three main

distinguishing features: proximity to oceans, the

presence of mountains, and high rainfall.

 

Their ecology is marked by the dynamic and complex

interactions between terrestrial, freshwater, estuarine

and marine systems.

 

Coastal temperate rainforests are primarily found in

the coastal regions of North America, New Zealand,

Tasmania, Chile and Argentina.

 

In addition, they are found in extremely limited areas

of Japan, northwest Europe, and the Black Sea coast

of Turkey and the Republic of Georgia.

 

Close to sixty percent of the world’s original coastal

temperate rainforests have been destroyed as a result

of logging and development.

 

North America’s ancient temperate rainforest once

stretched the Pacific coast from southeast Alaska to

northern California.

 

Today, more than half of this rainforest is gone and not

a single undeveloped, unlogged coastal watershed

5,000 hectares or larger remains south of the

Canadian border.

 

One of the largest contiguous tracts of temperate

rainforest left in the world is on British Columbia’s

mainland coast in the Great Bear Rainforest.

 

BC’s coastal temperate rainforests are characterized by

some of the oldest and largest trees on Earth, the most

common of which are Sitka spruce, red cedar,

western hemlock, amabilis and Douglas fir. Trees can

tower up to 300feet and grow for more than 1,500 years.

 

The biological abundance of BC’s coastal rainforests is

the result of over 10,000 years of evolution which began

when the glaciers of the Pleistocene Epoch melted.

 

These coastal forests have evolved to their biological

splendour because natural disturbances, such as fires,

happen infrequently and are usually small in scale.

 

Terrestrial and marine systems in BC’s coastal rainforest

zone are inextricably linked.

 

The dynamic interaction between terrestrial and marine

systems is described in the Conservation International/

Ecotrust paper Coastal Temperate Rainforests:

Ecological Characteristics, Status and Distribution

Worldwide: ”

 

The forest reaches out to the sea, which in turn furnishes

the wind and rain necessary for maintenance of the

forest character.

 

This exchange of nutrients and energy creates the base

for a complex food chain, rich enough to support

numerous migratory as well as resident species.”

 

” In North America approximately 350 bird and animal

species, including 48 species of amphibians and reptiles,

25 tree species, hundreds of species of fungi and

lichens, and thousands of insects, mites, spiders and

other soil organisms are found in coastal temperate

rain forests.

 

Although much remains to be learned about both systems,

biological diversity indices for some taxa in coastal

temperate rainforests (notably invertebrates, fungi and

soil organisms) may compare to those of tropical

rainforests.

Researchers are just now discovering the number of

organisms, particularly insects, living in the canopy of North

American coastal temperate rainforests.

 

These woodlands may support the highest fungal and

lichen diversity of any forest system.”

Wild salmon are the most important keystone species

for coastal rainforest ecosystems and grizzly bears

depend on healthy salmon runs for their survival.

 

Wild salmon are an important food source for a wide

array of wildlife as well.

 

Recent research is suggesting that even the ancient

temperate rainforests on the coast utilize salmon.

 

Bears drag the carcasses of spawned out salmon into

the forest, facilitating a major upslope nitrogen transfer

into the forest soil.

 

Years of industrial logging have left vast holes in this

precious forest.

Clearcut logging is ongoing, logging roads cut deep

swathes across watersheds, and wildlife habitats are

permanently destroyed.

 

The provincial government of British Columbia has

pledged to protect the area, but it must follow through

on its commitments if the Great Bear Rainforest is to

be protected.

 

More Information on the Great Bear Rainforest:
Raincoast Conservation Society
Victoria, BC, Canada
Website: www.raincoast.org

 

Location: The Great Bear Rainforest is located on the

west coast of the British Columbia mainland, stretching

from just north of Knight Inlet (off north central Vancouver

Island) to Princess Royal Island and all the way north

to the Alaskan border.

www.facebook.com/cherylcyoung

www.twitter.com/CherylCYoung

Appreciation Makes People

Feel More Important

Than Anything Else You Can Give Them.”

Find the good-and praise it

CHERYL C YOUNG, REALTOR

SAAINCH PENINSULA REALTY

SIDNEY B.C www.cherylyoung.ca.

 

 

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