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March 21st is World Forestry Day or International Day of Forests. The Day is celebrated to raise awareness of the importance of forests, and not only forests, but all types of forests. This year, the theme is Forests and Biodiversity.

“Forests are home to about 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity.”

“More than a billion people depend directly on forests for food, shelter, energy and income.”

“Forests also act as important carbon sinks, absorbing about 2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.”

There are three main types of forests: tropical, temperate and boreal. There are also plantations and seasonal or moonsoon forests.

Tropical forests have the highest species diversity in the world (millions of different species). They grow around the equator. Broadleaf trees, mosses, ferns, palms, and orchids are common in the tropical forests. Common animals are monkeys, snakes, frogs, lizards, and small mammals.

Temperate forests occur in North America, northeastern Asia and Europe. Common tree species are oak, beech, maple, elm, birch, willow, and hickory trees. Common animals are squirrels, rabbits, birds, deer, wolves, foxes, and bears.

Boreal forests, also called taiga, are found in areas of Siberia, Scandinavia, Alaska, and Canada. Pine, fir, and spruce trees live here. Common animals are moose, bears, lynx, wolf, deer, wolverines, caribou, bats, small mammals, and birds.

World Forestry Day encourages all countries to organize tree planting campaigns and activities.

Let’s celebrate World Forestry Day!

Photo by Sierra Walsh

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