BC’s Unique Temperate Rainforest

Share  Facebook Twitter

Everything in the rainforest is connected, a cycle of life in perfect balance. From the lush green that carpets the base of towering, centuries-old trees, to the salmon that attract grizzlies, black bear, and birds to feed, it’s an environment that nourishes everything in it. No wonder so many people—lives entrenched in technology, disconnected from nature, and sometimes each other—are drawn to the tranquility of the rainforest.

Tune in with these rainforest facts:

1. Breathe Easier

Less than 10% of the world’s land surface is rainforest, yet rainforests are responsible for nearly one-third of the world’s oxygen production.  You know you’re breathing fresh rainforest air when you see lichen hanging from trees. Some lichens have survived for thousands of years and are extremely susceptible to pollution.

A massive, mature tree is dripping with bright green lichen.

Beautiful tree drenched in lichen. Photo: @evesstuff via Instagram

2. BC’s Temperate Rainforest

Close to 25% of the world’s temperate rainforest is in BC.  Most of it is coastal (where you’ll find the protected Great Bear Rainforest), but BC is also home to the Ancient Forest, a rare inland rainforest near Prince George.

A grizzly bear crosses a lake, looking for fish.

A grizzly bear fishing for dinner in Chilko Lake, BC. Photo: @daveprotherovia Instagram

3. Tropical vs. Temperate

What’s the difference between BC’s temperate rainforest and a tropical rainforest? Tropical rainforests are warmer and close to the equator. Temperate rainforests are at latitudes between the two Tropics and Polar Circles. What they have in common is a lot of rain, which causes the lush rainforest canopies to flourish.

Two hikers cross a fallen moss-covered log in a dense rainforest.

The verdant rainforest on Vancouver Island near Qualicum Beach. Photo:@jessfindlay via Instagram.

4. Temperate Richness

Compared to tropical rainforests, temperate rainforests decompose slowly, resulting in a rich vegetation base (including a variety of mushrooms) but few tree varieties (mostly coniferous), due to the climate and low light levels.

A wild mushroom grows on the side of a moss covered tree in the rainforest.

Mushrooms are abundant in the rainforest. Pacific Rim National Park Reserve near Tofino, BC. Photo: @Leslieyip0911 via Twitter.

5. The Wildlife

A diverse collection of wildlife call BC’s rainforest home, including five species of salmon, multiple bird varieties (including the bald eagle), black-tailed deer, grey wolf, grizzly bear, and black bear.

A spirit bear and her cub cool off in a stream in the Great Bear Rainforest.

A spirit bear and her cub in the Great Bear Rainforest. The Kermode (spirit) bear found only in BC’s Great Bear Rainforest, is a black bear with a rare recessive gene. Photo: @leehorbachewski via Instagram.

Check out 5 Places to Experience the Rainforest in BC.

For details on BC’s coastal rainforest visit the Canadian Wildlife Federation.  For a closer look at the Great Bear Rainforest (including a live feed) check out BC’s Great Bear Rainforest.

Featured Image: Breathing forest by @konstalinkola via Instagram.