Healthy forests provide food, shelter, nesting areas and safe migration paths for countless species. Decaying leaves and plants littered on the forest floor are a critical link in the food web.
Forests don't just benefit animals on land; they're also critical to aquatic species. Forest buffers along the edges of waterways provide habitat for birds, mammals and reptiles. They also help keep the water cool, which is important for spawning brook trout and other fish.
Forest-dwelling species are not limited to large forests. Many species, such as white-tailed deer and red foxes, can be found in smaller wooded areas in our cities, towns and suburbs. Some even venture into our own backyards!
Click on the images below to learn about some of the critters that live in the Chesapeake Bay watershed's forests and uplands.