Friday, December 15, 2006

Importance of Snags

Snags are an essential part of wildlife habitat. When coming upon an old snag most would think of it as nothing more than a, well a rotting piece of wood, worthless and in need of removal. How wrong they would be. These "rotting pieces of wood" play an integral part in maintaining a forest's health. They are beneficial to about every life form that thrives there, be it birds, insects, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fungi, lichen, and even minute bacteria serving as food, shelter, perches, cover and nesting sites. Snags are formed by several different means- lightning, disease, fire, drought, and normal aging. It is routine practice by forest managers to leave a certain amount of snags per acre due to their impotance to the forest ecosystem. They will eventually fall where they will continue to support life and add important nutrients to the ground that will benefit other plants.

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