There are various definitions about forests that you can never answer specifically. But here I will tell the top 10 largest forests in the world. World Forest Day is celebrated every year on 21 March to promote sustainable management of the world’s forests and celebrate how important forest home is for humans.
Top 10 largest forests in the world
Below, I have covered the top 10 largest forests in the world by ranking 10 to 1. Let’s dive in.Check also:Top 10 nature places to visit in the world.
Primorye is a huge forest in Russia that is much bigger than the better-known Siberia. It stretches from Okhotsk in the north to North Korea and China in the south, covering 377745 square kilometers. The area also includes 58 protected areas, four nature reserves and 43 national parks.
The total length of rivers in the area is more than 600 thousand kilometers. The main rivers are the Ussuri, the Sikhote-Alin mountains and the Sihota, which flows through Khabarovsk.
The Siberian forest is often called the green lungs of our planet because it captures and stores carbon dioxide, reducing the greenhouse effect. The area is also home to many rare plants and animals, and more than 20% of all species in Russia can be found there, including lynx, deer, Taiga Panthera and Amur Tiger.
Burmese Tropical Rainforest
Burma, also known as Myanmar, is the largest tropical forest in Southeast Asia, covering more than 2299834 square kilometers. The forest remains largely intact because most of it lies within protected national parks and reserves such as Hukaung Valley and Yawein Pyi Nyein Tan, where tigers are re-introduced after being extinct for many years.
Burma has a very high biodiversity with more than 6,000 species of flora and fauna, of which about 60% are endemic to the country.
The forest is also home to indigenous groups such as Karen, Shan, and Mon people who follow traditional lifestyles that outside communities have not influenced much. The Burma forest is also important as a natural resource base for industries such as logging and mining.
Xishuangbanna Tropical Rainforest
Xishuangbanna is a large tropical rainforest in southwest China, covering nearly 2.5 million square kilometers. It extends from the Tibetan Plateau and Yunnan Province to Laos and Myanmar.
The forest has a very high biodiversity with many species of animals, plants, and birds found only in this area, such as white-winged wood duck, purple-faced langur, and the red-headed trogon.
The forest is also home to diverse ethnic groups such as Dai, Hani, Bulang and Wa that outside communities have not influenced for many years. These people still live in harmony with nature and depend on forest products for their livelihoods. The natives of this area have also been protecting their forests and establishing conservation areas since the 1980s, long before it became popular worldwide.
The Valdivian forest covers most of the southern part of Chile and Argentina in South America. It occupies almost 480000 square kilometers, covering variousf habitats, including temperate rainforests, grasslands, and Magellanic subantarctic forests. The entire area is under strict protection to ensure its biodiversity, with many national parks such as Alerce Andino National Park, Valdivian National Reserve and Tamango National Park.
The forest is home to thousands of species, including the endangered huemul deer, pudu Puda deer, kodkod cat and Chilean rainforest cat, and the largest Magellanic penguin colonies in South America.
Tongass National Forest
Tongass National Forest in southern Alaska is a temperate rainforest covering nearly 965000 square kilometers. It has extremely high biodiversity that includes around 50 species of Pacific salmon, bald eagles and brown bears.
It also contains many rare and endemic plants and animals such as the Alexander Archipelago wolf, Sitka black-tailed deer, and marbled murrelet.
The Tongass forest is also important as a major supplier of timber that contributes to more than 30% of the regional economy. In addition, commercial fisheries are abundant in these waters. However, despite its importance to the industry and local economies, this area remains one of the last pristine environments on earth.
Tropical rainforest in Borneo
The tropical rainforest in Borneo covers most of the island, including Brunei, East Malaysia, and Indonesia. It has a very high biodiversity with many unique animals, plants, and birds that only exist in this area, such as orangutans, rhinoceroses, pygmy elephants and Sumatran tigers.
In the last 50 years, half of the forest has been deforested and destroyed by logging companies to make way for plantations, so that only 47% remains today. However, much of this remaining forest is under protection in national parks such as Kinabalu Park, Gunung Mulu National Park and Kutai National Park.
New Guinea Tropical Rainforest
The New Guinea forest covers most of the island of New Guinea and some outlying islands in Indonesia, Australia and Papua New Guinea. It is the largest tropical forest in Asia, covering nearly 5.4 million square kilometers. This means that it is home to around 40% of the world’s known animal species, including birds such as cassowaries, parrots and kingfishers, and many endemic species such as tree kangaroos, Matschie’s tree-kangaroo and cuscus.
In addition, the forest is known for its medicinal plants such as quinine, reserpine, and taxol, which are used to treat diseases like malaria, hypertension, and cancer.
However, the largest intact tropical rainforest area is in Daintree National Park in Australia, which has recently been added as a World Heritage Site.
Tropical rainforest in Congo
The tropical rainforest covers most of the Democratic Republic of Congo in central Africa and has some of the highest biodiversity in the world. This forest is estimated to contain more than 10 000 plant species, nearly 150 species of large mammals like elephants, chimpanzees and lowland gorillas, and about 1000 species of birds.
However, half of the forest area is under threat from logging and poaching, causing many species to be endangered or extinct. According to a recent study, at least 32% of mammals and 23% of birds are currently endangered due to these activities.
Climate change has also impacted these forests since rising temperatures have increased droughts while reducing rainfall in some areas. This has caused large-scale forest fires that burn for months, destroying huge rainforest areas and threatening the animals living in them.
The taiga is the largest terrestrial biome covering 20% of the world’s land surface. It is also a coniferous forest and contains mostly needle-leaved, cone-bearing trees such as spruces, firs, and pines. This area has a subarctic climate with very cold winters where temperatures drop to -40 °C and a short growing season with warm summers.
However, large taiga areas are threatened by logging, mining and oil exploration since only about 22% is under some form of protection. Each year, around 3 million hectares of forest disappear due to deforestation, which has caused a number of species to become endangered such as the Siberian tiger and the Amur leopard.
It covers 2.1 million square kilometers, which is about 6% of the total landmass on earth. Still, it contains more than half of the planet’s remaining rainforest and accounts for approximately one-third of all species in the world, including 20,000 types of plants and 3000 birds. The Amazon has formed over 55 million years ago and harbors one in 10 known species on earth.
It has been said that as the sun rises and sets, human activity creates a new area of deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon region the size of Delaware every HOUR. And by 2015, it is estimated that nearly 20% of the Brazilian rainforest will be lost. Despite being extremely diverse, only 2.8% of the Amazon’s area comprises federally protected conservation units.
The top 10 largest forests in the world play a significant role in ecosystems and biodiversity. However, many of them are threatened by human activity due to deforestation, reducing their size every day. Many species are also endangered or extinct as a result. Therefore, we need to pay more attention to these forests and take measures against climate change and human activities.