ABOUT FOREST HABITATS
There are many different forest ecosystems. In Australia we have eucalyptus forests, rainforests, acacia forests and many more. Forests are made up of four layers;
Forest floor (leaves on the ground provide nutrients into the soil)
Understory (shrubs, grasses and young trees)
Canopy (a layer of bushy tree tops)
Emergent layer (super tall tree tops)
They are important habitats for over 70% of the world's 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!
Tree forests are incredibly important in helping us live good lives. When cars are driven and factories let out 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.
Sadly, 80% of our trees have been cleared, and the rivers that flow through forests can be contaminated by chemicals. This reduces the ability of forests to provide us with good air and provide animals with homes.
ANIMAL SPOTLIGHT: KOALAS
Cute and sleepy Koalas are marsupials (a "class" or group of animals that have a pouch).
Koalas live in the eucalyptus forests of Australia. Why? Because they love to eat eucalyptus leaves!
These leaves are actually very nutrient-poor which is why Koalas have to eat ALL the time. They eat up to one kilogram a day... that's a lot of leaves and it makes them very sleepy.
Baby koalas (also called joeys) are born blind. They use their sense of smell to make their way into their mothers pouch. They spend around 6 months in the pouch before they enter the world!