Forests are areas of dense trees and foliage. Forests are nature’s boon to Planet Earth. Trees and plants of all kinds make up a forest. Animals and birds that live on trees can be sighted in forests. Large mammals like elephants, tigers, leopards, and rhinoceroses, as also smaller ones like bears, hyenas and jackals live in forests. Mammals may be either herbivorous or carnivorous creatures. Many colorful birds that include resident birds as also migratory birds fly about in forests. Insects, reptiles, and amphibians to live in forests. A variety of snakes as also insects like butterflies and bees also live in forests. Forests also have water bodies so that aquatic creatures also can be found in forests. The water bodies are also sources of drinking water for the many wildlife species that inhabit forests.
Forests also maintain the hydrological cycle in the ecosystem. Forests help in creating regular monsoon systems. Therefore periods of drought can be avoided. Regularity in rainfall and monsoons also helps in keeping the water table level high enough. This helps in providing man a regular supply of water for his varied purposes. Trees also help in holding the topsoil. The topsoil is the fertile layer of soil. When there is deforestation the topsoil gets exposed, and rains wash away the topsoil thus depleting the soil of its fertility. By protecting trees and forests the fertility of the soil can be retained.
Forests make for ideal habitats for mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and insects. There are both carnivorous and herbivorous animals that live in forests. Carnivorous animals feed on flesh, while herbivorous ones derive their food from plants. Large carnivores like the lion, tiger and leopard prey on smaller animals to feed on. Animals like the jackal, hyena, and fox are also carnivores. The majestic elephant and the enormous rhinoceros are, however, herbivorous creatures. Beautiful and colorful birds can also be sighted, and their trademark calls and songs listened to in forests. The bird species may be endemic, resident or migratory. A variety of reptiles like snakes and amphibians to live in forests. Beautifully patterned and splendid butterflies, as also bees can be seen flying about in a forest.
Forests are beautiful natural settings where we can go and experience nature in its splendid expression. We can not only see the beauty of nature in the form of floral and faunal diversity but can also experience peace in the sylvan surroundings. It is nice to go to a forest on a holiday. The air in a forest is fresh unlike that in modern towns and cities which is highly polluted.