Wildlife of the Cale­do­nian For­est

The last Scot­tish rem­nants of bo­real for­est, known as the Cale­do­nian For­est, are home to some of the UK’s largest and most iconic species

World of Animals - - What’s Inside... - Words Kirsty Cathrine

The last Scot­tish rem­nants of bo­real for­est are home to some of the UK’s most iconic species

The Cale­do­nian For­est con­sists of the last re­main­ing ar­eas of an­cient pinewoods that used to cover much of Scot­land. The for­est is dom­i­nated by its huge Scot’s pine trees and smaller species such as birch, as­pen and rowan. It is thought that these trees ar­rived in Scot­land over 8,000 years ago when the UK was con­nected to Europe via a land bridge.

Sim­i­lar habi­tats are found across much of Europe, where they are re­ferred to as the bo­real for­est, or taiga. These forests still con­tain a lot of the species that have since be­come ex­tinct in the Cale­do­nian For­est, such as elk, wolves and bears. How­ever, the Cale­do­nian For­est is still a very spe­cial place, con­tain­ing many en­dan­gered species or wildlife not found else­where in the UK.

“The for­est is dom­i­nated by huge Scot’s pine trees, which ar­rived in

Scot­land 8,000 years ago”

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