What Animals Make up the Food Chain in a Temperate Forest?

animals-make-up-food-chain-temperate-forest Credit: Peter Trimming/CC-BY-2.0

The wildlife of a temperature forest differs depending on location but includes such animals as deer, moose, squirrels, rabbits, foxes and wolves. Temperate forests are found throughout the world in Asia, Europe and North America.

Predominantly deciduous flora, seasonally variable temperatures and plentiful precipitation characterize a temperate forest. Temperate forest fauna varies depending on location, but animals fill similar niches regardless of geographic area. The primary consumers of a temperate forest range from small mammals, such as rodents and rabbits, to large ungulates. In eastern North America, white-tailed deer are common sightings in a deciduous woodland, while western North America is home to elk and moose. Desert-loving mule deer also spend time in temperate forests during the hottest months. Red and fallow deer inhabit European temperate forests, and Sika deer are native to Asia. Small woodland carnivores and omnivores include raccoons, foxes, weasels, bobcat and lynx. North America is home to the coyote; these opportunistic canids are equally at home in desert, grassland and forest biomes. North American large predators include wolves, mountain lions, black bears and grizzly bears. Wolves and bears are also present in European temperate forests. Asia is home to spectacular big cats including Siberian tigers and leopards as well as Asiatic black bears. Bird life in temperate forests is diverse and variable, ranging from many species of songbirds through large raptors.