A Tour of the Temperate Rainforest

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The “Love Shack” PC: Alyssa Ciona

The first thing that comes to mind when I think rain forest is South America. Or Australia. Or even better NEW ZEALAND. I’ve always imagined warm and tropical when thinking about rain forests but when you think about Vancouver and the seemingly endless amount of rain we get bombarded with it would only make sense that we would have a rain forest. And not just any rain forest, an incredibly beautiful and luscious rain forest. With plants and animals so beautiful it’s hard not to fall in love. In fact, any men out there who have ever noticed that whenever you’re out in the woods you find yourself in a particularly good mood it could be due to the fact that the male sperm is attracted to the secretion of the moss egg equivalent. Or it could be because you’re surrounded by fresh air and amazing scenery. Who knows. However, if you do find yourself excited about the moss, we came across an adorable hut that served some former useful service but has more recently become the love shack.

PC: Alyssa Ciona

PC: Alyssa Ciona

There was a point in our journey through the rain forest when we all stopped for a minute in complete silence took the time to really take in the beauty and peacefulness of the surroundings. If you’ve never done so, I would highly suggest it. The things that inhabit the temperate rain forests are out of this world. But actually. Tardigrades, or as I prefer “moss piglets”, were the first animals to survive in the vacuum of space. They may be mere millimeters long but for such little guys they sure are tough. For those who aren’t as interested in microscopic organisms, the temperate rain forest is also home to some of the world’s most beautiful mammals including grizzly bears, black bears and wolves. The majestic “spirit bear” has also been spotted in the area. Although the bear looks much like a polar bear, it is actually a subspecies of black bear and definitely a sight to see

Fallen tree, likely from wind or other natural causes. PC: Alyssa Ciona

Fallen tree, likely from wind or other natural causes. PC: Alyssa Ciona

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Walking through the rain forest has a way of making you realize how minuscule you are in a world full of giants. The giants I’m referring to are the natural giants: trees. Some of the trees found in Vancouver islands temperate rain forest include Douglas fir, Western Hemlock, Sitka Spruce and giant Red Cedar. Some of the Red Cedar’s in the area are over 1000 years old. These trees have been around much longer than any individual on earth and will be around long after. That is if we take care of our forests. One of the major human threats comes from the logging industry. With all the giant trees inhabiting the temperate rain forest it’s easy to see the economic appeal. But these forests are some of the most beautiful habitats, home to incredibly diverse species and it is crucial that we do everything we can to protect them. If your interested in learning more about the threats to the Canadian rain forests in particular, I’ve included a link below to a paper provided by the David Suzuki Foundation outlining some of the major issues facing Canada’s rain forests.

http://www.davidsuzuki.org/publications/downloads/2005/DSF-rainforests-2005-5.pdf

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