It’s National Wildlife Week in America and a perfect excuse for us to comb the ARKive collection for species in support of this year’s theme, ‘Branching Out for Wildlife’ – celebrating trees and their importance to wildlife and people.
Trees are essential for species survival around the world. They provide vital habitat for species in nearly every category from mushrooms to mammals and everything in between. Their leaves clean the air we breathe and their wood provides invaluable ecosystem services to humans. Basically, we just couldn’t survive without them!
We thought we’d showcase some of our favorite images on ARKive featuring species ‘branching out’ in their own ways. Take a look; you might be surprised at some of the species on our list!
You may have spotted a Northern raccoon scampering around the forest floor but this species is actually right at home climbing in and around the limbs of trees. For a more classic image of raccoons and trees, take a look at these cuties.
Leg-less limb lounger
Did you know that some snakes could climb trees? Snakes like this red-sided garter snake are able to slither their way up trunks and limbs to avoid predators or, in this case, to escape from a pining male suitor.
You’ve probably heard the story of the little house kitty that got stuck up in the tree, right? Well, the far distant cousin of the house cat, the Canada lynx, has no problem ambling up and around the trees in its native habitat. On the ground, these cats rely on fallen trees, among other shrubbery, for cozy bedding.
Pine tree pecker
No collection of tree-dwelling species would be complete without a woodpecker which uses its powerful beak to ‘peck’ holes into tree trunks to create a home. Woodpeckers like this pileated woodpecker are especially important to the woodland ecosystems since vacated woodpecker homes provide essential shelter for other species such as owls, bats and swifts.
While the large claws of the brown bear are better suited for digging rather than tree climbing, it certainly doesn’t stop this opportunistic feeder from climbing up a trunk or two for a meal.
Can you think of other American species that require trees to live? Why not do some exploring around the Wisconsin’s Northwoods or the Eastern deciduous forest of the US. Shout out your favorite species in the comments below and include a link to the species on ARKive so we can learn together!
Liana Vitali, ARKive Education and Outreach Manager, Wildscreen USA