Wildlife habitat varies from forest to forest

Forest landowners enhance wildlife habitat through management activities

A habitat provides everything that an individual plant or animal needs to survive: food, water and shelter. A forest ecosystem provides different habitats that can be essential for a species’ lifecycle, including migratory species such as birds, fish, mammals and insects. As forests grow and mature, the resident wildlife change too.

Eyes In A Tree Grayson Williams


Types Of Forest Habitat

Forest wildlife depend on different forest habitats to thrive.

Young, open forests occur following disturbances such as fire or logging.  Many wildlife species like deer, elk and songbirds prefer these areas where they find the low shrubs along with a wide variety of insects and small mammals.  

Middle-aged forests have mid-sized trees that have outgrown weaker trees and other vegetation. Black bear, chipmunks and thrush enjoy this forest where the canopy is open enough for the growth of ground vegetation.

Mature forests contain large trees and have a complex canopy and understory where you’ll find the hoary bat, red squirrel, marten and woodpeckers.  

All three forest habitats are necessary for biodiversity.  

Click on the image to learn why forest animals live where they do or click here.


What is Biological Diversity? 

Forests support biological diversity — the variety of genes between and within species populations. Some habitats, known as ‘biodiversity hotspots’, have an exceptionally high number of species, which makes them more genetically diverse than others.

FOREST FACT:  Wildlife frequently moves from one forest type (old) to the another (young). The type of wildlife found in a single forest changes over time as the forest moves through its succession cycle.

Click the image to watch a Forest Fast Break video about wildlife habitats and why forest animals live where they do. Or click here.



View the Atlas of Idaho’s Wildlife