What Kinds of Animals Live in a Forest?

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Animals like owls, woodpeckers, jaguars and wolves live in forests. Forest life is some of the most complex on the planet and each animal is important to the ecosystem.

The gray wolf is an iconic forest-dweller. Once endangered, the gray wolf is seeing an increase in its population in the American north. Gray wolves can grow to be 7 feet long and weigh around 175 pounds. They are very intelligent and social creatures and despite their name, they range in color from white to dark grey.

Jaguars are the third largest cat in the world and grow to weigh 300 pounds. They are excellent swimmers and unlike most cats, even enjoy water. The jaguar’s range extends from the southern U.S. all the way down to Central America. They live in the dense jungles and shoreline forests in these areas.

The great grey owl is the largest owl in North America. Its wingspan can top out at 60 inches but only weighs around 3 pounds. These excellent hunters can find food up to 2 feet below the snow and prefer to dine on squirrels and mice.

Finally, one of the most interesting forest-dwellers is the red-cockaded woodpecker. This bird is small, only weighing about 1.5 ounces and it lives in the forests in the American southeast. These woodpeckers seek out pine trees with red heart disease, a fungus that destroys the trees’ heartwood.