Forests all over the world play a vital role in maintaining the earth’s ecosystem in addition to providing oxygen. Every species on the planet is reliant on forests in some way. Forests provide a safe haven for wild animals, and they provide a sustainable livelihood or a means of meeting some of our needs for humans. The fact that forests are home to eighty percent of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity, including flora and fauna, adds to the picture. In addition, forests cover over 31% of the world’s land area. Here’s a list of the world’s largest forests, and let’s take a look at how diverse each one is.
10 of the Largest Forests in the World
1. Amazon Rainforest of South America
Area: 5.5 million km2
The Amazon rainforest covers much of Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, and Suriname, which is why it is considered number one of the world’s largest forests. It is not only the world’s largest forest in terms of area (55,00,000 square kilometers; 21,23,561 square miles), but it is also home to one out of every ten species on the planet. It is home to 40,000 species of plants, 1,300 bird species, 2,200 species of fish, 427 mammalian species, 430 species of amphibians, 380 reptile species, and more than 2.5 million insect species. The Amazon rainforest is the world’s most biodiverse and largest, with the greatest diversity of wildlife and plants. In recent years, these forests have been subjected to ongoing deforestation, mismanagement, and degradation. The world’s largest rainforest is home to plants and wildlife, home to many species such as the monkey brush vine, piranhas, and dart poison frog, among others. It is millions of years old and is a treasure trove of plants and wildlife, home to many species such as the monkey brush vine, piranhas, and dart poison frog, among others. The Amazon Rainforest also provides twenty percent of the world’s oxygen. And this, taken together, reflects the importance of Amazon Rainforests.
2. Congo Rainforest, Africa
Area: 3 million km2
The Congo Rainforest, Africa, is the world’s second-largest forest, stretching across the borders of six countries: Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Gabon, the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Central African Republic. This tropical forest is one of the most important forests that maintain the ecology. The Congo Rainforest is home to over 1000 species of birds, 600 species of trees, and 10,000 species of animals. The Congo Basin is also home to the world’s second-largest river, the Congo River, and the Congo Basin is the only place on the planet where all three gorilla species, the lowland gorilla, the endangered mountain gorilla, and the endemic eastern lowland gorilla, can be found.
3. Valdivian Temperate Rainforest, South America
Area: 248,100 km2
In the southern part of South America, the Valdivian Temperate Rainforest is the third largest forest and temperate rainforest. It is also known as one of the world’s newest and largest forests. This forest spans two countries, Chile and Argentina, and is located between the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. The forest is a bio-geographic island, with unbroken swaths of conifer and deciduous trees, dense underbrush of lush ferns, and bamboo thickets. The landscape of this forest, which was formed only 17,000 years ago, has a wide range of national parks, beaches, rivers, lakes, islands, and hiking trails—all of which provide much-needed cover for a variety of wildlife, which includes delicate animals such as the smallest deer species Pudu, the smallest wild cat Kodkod, and even Copihue, Chile’s national flower, and many ecological systems.
4. Tongass National Forest, North America
Area: 68,000 km2
Tongass National Forest, the world’s other largest forest, is also a key recognition in our list. It is the United States of America’s temperate and largest rainforest, with about a third of its total area designated as wilderness. Western Sitka spruce, western hemlock, and red cedar dominate the dense evergreen forest. Over 75,000 people live in the Tongass National Forest, which is made up of islands, mountains, glaciers, and other natural features. It is also home to bald eagles, as well as brown bears, moose, porpoises, humpback whales, mountain goats, killer whales, sea otters, hair seals, black bears, wolves, and other species. The Tongass National Forest’s glaciers are well-known as one of the most popular tourist attractions.
5. Rainforest of Xishuangbanna, Asia
Area: 19,223 km2
The Xishuangbanna Rainforest in China is one of Asia’s and the world’s largest forests. It contains over 5,000 species of vascular plants and accounts for sixteen percent of China’s total plant diversity. This Rainforest is extremely important to China’s ecosystem because it is home to a large number of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. Asian Elephants, Green Peacocks, and Indo-Chinese Tigers are among the important species found in the Xishuangbanna Rainforest. Based on its composition, this Rainforest can be divided into three categories: tropical rainforest vegetation, tropical montane rainforest, and tropical seasonal rainforest.
6. Sundarbans, Asia
Area: 10,000 km2
The Sundarbans deserve to be included in our list of the world’s and India’s largest forests. It is a Mangrove Forest that is located between the Indian state of West Bengal and the Bangladeshi division of Khulna. It is home to over 290 bird species, 120 fish species, 42 species of mammals, 35 reptile species, and 8 amphibian species. The Sundari tree, which is the most common in the area, was used to name the forest. It is the world’s largest contiguous mangrove forest and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Royal Bengal tigers, northern river terrapins, olive ridley sea turtles, estuarine crocodiles, Gangetic dolphins, ground turtles, and king crabs are among the endangered species that call the Sunderbans home. The fact that the Sunderbans is Bangladesh’s largest source of forest produce and thus an important contributor to the country’s economy adds to its importance.
7. Daintree Forest, Australia
Area: 1,200 km2
Richard Daintree, an Australian photographer, and geologist gave his name to the Daintree Rainforest. Daintree is the world’s oldest rainforest, estimated to be around 135 million years old, and is located on Queensland’s northeast coast. This rainforest also happens to be Australia’s largest continuous forest. Continuous Forests are sustainable methods of managing a forest region; they are created by selecting and harvesting individual trees. These forests are hardy because of their irregular structure, which ensures that they are maintained in a sustainable manner. The Daintree Rainforest, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is known for its lush canopy and vines, forest-clad mountains, and valleys. Around ninety percent of the world’s butterfly and bat species, as well as a large percentage of Australia’s unique indigenous reptiles and birds, can be found here. It is not only one of the world’s largest forests, but also a popular tourist destination that draws visitors from all over the world.
8. Kinabalu National Park, Asia
Area: 754 km2
The Kinabalu National Park, which was established in 1964 and is located on the northern part of the island of Borneo, is Malaysia’s first world heritage site. The park’s habitats range from tropical lowlands to hill rainforest to subalpine forests, and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Kinabalu National Park is home to a unique and diverse collection of plants, trees, and animals. Over 4,500 species of flora and fauna call it home, including 326 species of bird and 100 species of mammal. Because the Kinabalu National Park spans four climate zones, it is home to a diverse range of montane oak, rhododendron, coniferous forests, alpine meadow plants, and stunted bushes. Two of the region’s endemic animal species are the Kinabalu Giant Red Leech and Kinabalu Giant Earthworm.
9. Sinharaja Forest Reserve of Sri Lanka
Area: 111.9 km2
UNESCO has designated Sinharaja Forest Reserve as a World Heritage and Biosphere Reserve, making it one of the world’s largest forests. The Department of Forest Conservation oversees the organization, which was founded in 1978. Sinharaja forest, in southwest Sri Lanka, is the country’s last large feasible area of tropical lowland rainforest, which once covered the entire island. This lush rainforest also houses twenty-three percent of Sri Lanka’s pervasive animals and sixty-four of the country’s endemic trees. The forest is home to over eighty-five percent of the country’s endemic birds and over half of the country’s widespread mammals, reptiles, and butterflies. The rivers Napola Dola and Koskulana Ganga in the north, Maha Dola in the south, and Gin Ganga in the south-west, as well as the rivers Kalukandawa Ela and Kudawa Ganga in the west, surround the Sinharaja Forest Reserve on three sides. It is a source of routine and survival for the local population who live on the reserve’s outskirts, and thus contributes significantly to Sri Lanka’s economy.
10. Mindo-Nambillo Cloud Forest, South America
Area: 86 km2
The Mindo cloud forest, located in South America, is one of the world’s largest forests. In comparison to a tropical rainforest, a cloud forest is much cooler and moister. Over 450 different bird species can be found in the Mindo-Nambillo Cloud Forest. The Yumbo-Nigua people, a tribal community, find shelter and food in these forests and rely on them for their livelihood. Apart from that, it is a significant ecological site and one of South America’s most popular tourist destinations. The Mindo forest also has more than 4,500 varieties of orchids, as well as other plant species such as cedro trees, aguacatillo, arrayan, and canelo, as well as plants such as berries, hill red peppers, and the ortiga. This lovely ecological gem is a private reserve dedicated to preserving the wide variety of flora and fauna.