ABOUT FOREST HABITATS
There are many different forest ecosystems. In Australia we have Eucalyptus forests, rainforests, Acacia forests and many more. Forests are generally classified by a species of native tree that will grow in large numbers. Most forests will have a layer of dead leaves on the ground which provide nutrients into the soil. The rich nutrients not only help the big trees grow, but also shrubs and grasses as well.
Tree forests are incredibly important in helping us live good lives. When cars are driven and factories let out black smoke, harmful carbon dioxide goes into the air. Forests act almost like 'lungs of the planet' by filtering out this carbon dioxide and giving us oxygen to breathe in.
Not only are forests important for us, but they are important habitats for over 70% of the worlds animals! In Australia, most of our marsupials (animals with pouches) live in forests such as koalas, possums and wombats. And don't forget about the thousands of birds that call forests their home!
About 80% of the planets forests have sadly been cleared or cut down. Forests also have many creeks or rivers flowing through them and sometimes the water can be contaminated by chemicals. These threats reduce the ability of forests to provide us with good air and provide animals with homes.
ANIMAL SPOTLIGHT: KOALAS
Cute, cuddly, sleepy Koalas are marsupials. Marsupials are groups of animals that have a pouch.
Koalas live in the eucalyptus forests of Australia. Why? Because they only eat eucalyptus leaves!
Eucalyptus leaves are actually very nutrient-poor which is why Koalas have to eat all the time - up to one kilogram a day and are constantly very sleepy.
When baby koalas- known as joeys, are born, they are blind. But they use their sense of smell to make there way into their mothers pouch. They spend around 6 months in the pouch!