Alive or Dead?
What Am I Looking At?
If you are quiet and listen, you will hear that this seemingly dead forest is full of life. You should hear birds chirping, woodpeckers hammering, bugs buzzing. These dead trees that are still standing, called SNAGS are an important part of the life of the forest. A forest requires death to survive.
Did you know that dead trees provide a vital habitat for more than 1,000 species of wildlife nation wide?
How do snags and logs “help” a forest?
- They provide places to live—many animals, like birds, bats, squirrels and raccoons make nests in hollow cavities and crevices in snags.
- Dead trees are a food source—they make a great home for mosses, lichen, insects and fungi. Deadwood becomes a fine restaurant for wildlife.
- Tall snags provide nesting and roosting places as well as lookouts for raptors to find their prey.
- They are hiding places—the nooks and crannies are a perfect pantry for squirrels and other animals looking to store their food.
- Decomposing trees and logs help keep the soil healthy by returning their vital nutrients to the soil, and decaying trees can become “nurse logs” to new seedlings.