Some Examples of Consumers in the Temperate Rainforest
Pacific Salmon- Salmon are unusual because they are anadromous, meaning they spend most of their lives in the salt water of the Pacific Ocean, but swim many miles upstream to the rivers or streams where they were born to spawn. After they hatch, young salmon return to the sea. Most species of salmon die after spawning. While they are in freshwater streams, salmon eat aquatic insects such as caddis flies and mayflies, plankton, crustaceans and terrestrial insects. Pacific salmon are a critical part of the temperate rainforest ecosystem, because they provide food for a large number of other species.
Black Bear- Black bears prefer to live in densely overgrown habitat that provides cover and plentiful food in the form of vegetation. Black bears are omnivores, feeding on various types of vegetation such as grass, shrubs, fruits and nuts, as well as fish and small animals. The rare White Spirit Bear, or Kermode, found only in the temperate rainforests of British Columbia, is a subspecies of the black bear.
Roosevelt Elk- Roosevelt elk are native to the temperate rainforests of the Pacific Northwest. They are the largest of the herbivores, the males weighing as much as 1,000 pounds. Their foraging and grazing helps to keep the forest floor from becoming overgrown. Elk eat lichens and many types of plants and shrubs including blackberry, huckleberry, salal and vine maple.
Mountain Lion- Mountain lions are carnivores that eat a wide range of other animals, from mice, squirrels and raccoons up to deer and moose. Mountain lions hunt by stalking and then leaping onto the back of their prey and breaking its neck by biting it with their powerful jaws.
Some other consumers of the temperate rainforest include beavers, raccoons, amphibians, banana slugs, small mammals such as mice, voles and weasels, and many species of birds including owls, hawks and eagles.