The Earth when it was created consisted extensively and exclusively of water. The land overflowed with mighty oceans. As and when the land erupted and surfaced up the water level the land or terrestrial life began. Initially the whole land was a carpet of dense forests with lush trees and vegetation. Until some 50 – 60 years ago as well Earth was considerably covered with vegetation. But with the trend of urbanization this carpet has decreased in area considerably. Not the world forest are has shrunk and has been confined to some particular regions of the world which have sustained their eco systems in this otherwise hostile worlds. Various rain forests and cloud forests are still standing proud in the world nurturing hundreds of species that they accommodate. It is great to see how the various organizations throughout the world and even the government is trying hard to preserve these ecologically important zones from further encroachment. Although forests are found throughout the world in various types the prominent ones are the various rain forests as they are covering huge areas under them. These forests are huge , dense and home to hundreds of animals. Some of them have been turned to sanctuaries and Eco zones by the authorities for their protection and also that mankind can get close to nature and witness its beauty. The following are the top 10 largest forests of the world.
10. Ecuador Cloud Forest
I am sure some of you are confused with the term “cloud forest”. No it does not mean a flying or floating forest obviously. What gives the forest the name is the seasonal of frequent occurrence of cloud around the upper edges of the trees due to cool climate and high humidity. This cloudy appearance can be a persistent view as well. The forest looks covered under clouds from the top view. Ecuador is one such forest in South America. It is not that large when it is considered area wise but when it comes to the bio diversity of this forest it is estimated that it has around 18 – 20% of world’s species. In South America it is said t have around 50% of its bird’s species. The forest is a great touring site and is also a protected area. Special permissions are required to camp and stay in here.
9. Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve
Santa Elena cloud forest is a cloud forest just like Ecuador forest and is covered with cloudy mist throughout the year giving a continuous water supply to the vegetation thriving in. Santa Elena reserve as it is called is located around Monteverdi. The land was rented by a school but soon was converted by the school authorities into a cloud forest. It is now a protected site under the law of the country. It supports a great deal of plant variety with some of the most exotic birds and orchid species. The money earned from tourism is used for the various schools of Monteverdi. This is a perfect example telling people that as citizens there is a lot that they can do.
8. Pacific Temperate forest
Temperate forests are the once which thrive in the temperate zones of the world. These forests are characterized by high trees which makes it difficult to view around 70% of the sky from inside the forest. They receive high rainfall of around 1400 mm. Pacific Temperate forest is located in North America and is the largest temperate rain forest in the world. This forest is home to the largest Grizzly bear population in the world partly due to the Salmon rich rivers flowing through the forest. Exotic birds are also found nesting in the trees for example Marblet Murret. Maples , Spruce , Alder are some of the trees found here.
7. Emas National Park
This national park is situated in Brazil. It is a natural habitat and is designated by UNESCO as a world heritage site. It is not a dense forest capitalized by huge trees but instead it is a savannah type forest. The entire area of 1320 km is covered by low level bushes and shrubs. It has a very peculiar plant and animal life. There are huge termite domes visible. There are also considerable number of ant eaters , deer and a few numbers of jaguars etc. Mammals like monkey , capybara , tapir , puma are also found here.
6. Kinabalu National Park
Mt Kinabalu is the tallest peak in Borneo. Adjoining this is an area of 724 km which in 1964 was opened as the first national park in the country of Malaysia. In the year 2000 this was credited as UNESCO world heritage site status due to the wide variety in occupants shown by it. Around 4500 different species of plants and animal are dwelling here. The variety is distinct with at least 4 different types of climatic vegetation types. An interesting fact is that Mt Kinabalu is considered a very recent mountain which is still growing by a rate of 5mm each year.
5. Sinharaja Forest Reserve
Sinharaja means “The King of Lions”. This reserve is situated in the country of Sri Lanka. This reserve is also a world heritage site designated by UNESCO in the year 1988. When it comes to are it is comparatively very small with extending only 13 miles ( east – west ) to around 5 miles ( north – south ).
In spite of this the variety of endemic species it shows is great. Owing to this fact that the species found here are endemic this was granted the heritage status. The endemism is seen with respect to all – trees , plants , animals , butterflies , birds , mammals etc. around 20 birds found here are endemic. Some specific species of viper and frogs are found here. Some elephants and leopards are also found here.
4. Daintree Rain Forest
Daintree is a rain forest in Australia in Queensland. It is covering a magnificent area of around 1500 km. It is also an acclaimed UNESCO world heritage site. The forest has two regions which are separated by an agricultural region from each other. One is adjoining the Mossman region and the other towards the Daintree village. The reserve is getting its name from the Daintree River flowing through it. Near to the Mossman coast is the Great diving mountain range and also there is the Mossman George. The rainforest is probably the oldest existing ran forest in the world. It has a rich variety of flora and fauna. Various species of Kangaroos , doves , platypus are found here. Many other creatures inhabit the forest.
3. Southeast Asian Rain Forest
South east Asia stretches to cover up around 20000 islands between the continents of Asia and Australia spreading over a 3100 miles. These regions inhabit rain forests which were one of the most persistent forests of the world. Being located at the equator they always had the ambient temperature and water supply giving rise to long living forests. However in today’s times these forests are disappearing alarmingly. It is estimated that in the coming 10 – 12 years most of the forest will be gone. Due to this various species of animals are falling extinct. Two horned rhinoceros and tiger are already on the verge of extinction.
2. The Congo Rain Forest
The Congo rain forest gets its name from the mighty Congo River flowing through it. It is one of the largest rivers in the world and the forest is located in the river basin. It is probably the second largest rain forest in the world. Although hunting is posing a threat to the wild life the forest is considerably safe. The variety of animals found here includes an exclusively found here chimpanzee. Also lowland gorillas are found here. Hippopotamus is found nearby the rivers and large tusked elephants are also found here. People here in Brazil eat Hippo meat which leads to its illegal hunting. It is estimated that a total of 60 million of the Congo people in some way or the other depend on this forest
1. The Amazon Rain Forest
The Amazon forest also gets its name from the world’s longest river flowing through it – the Amazon River. The rich river basin soil feeds the forest making it the biggest rain forest in the world to exist. Out of the 7 million square km area of the basin 5.5 is covered by the forest spreading to 9 countries altogether. Around 60% of it is in Brazil itself with another 13% in the country of Peru. The remaining lies in the adjoining other nations. Amazon is called the biggest oxygen producers of the world giving around 23% of world’s oxygen.