Forests are more than just trees. They are a complex community of plants and animals that constantly change, grow, and interact with each other and the nutrient-bearing soils upon which they depend. Once, more than half of Wisconsin was covered in vast stretches of forest: maple woodlands, spruce and pine groves, oak savannas, riverbottom thickets, and more. Over time, the axe, the plow, and the bulldozer have changed that landscape into a patchwork quilt of forest divided by towns, fields, and roads. Some forest wildlife like to live deep in the forest, others prefer living at the forest's edge. Some wildlife need young forests, others require mature, or "old-growth" forests to survive.

Forest with Leaves
American Black currant
The black currant is a shrub with maple-like leaves with toothed edges.
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Bunchberry with berries
In the fall, the bunchberry lives up to its name.
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Eastern Foxsnake
Many people mistake this snake's coloration as a venomous copperhead snake and kill them out of fear.
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Red-backed Salamander
Not only does it live on land its whole life, it doesn't have lungs or gills and breathes right through its skin!
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Goshawk
These hawks rely on speed and cunning to catch their prey.
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Forest with white trillium in blossom
The trillium gets its name from the Latin word for three.
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Ovenbird
This warbler can be found hopping on the floor of Wisconsin's mature forests.
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Paper Birch trees
In the winter, birch are also easy to identify by the dangling flower clusters in small bunches.
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Red-headed Woodpecker
"Knock, knock, who's there?" The red-headed woodpecker.
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Snowshoe Hare
This hare changes its coat twice a year, exchanging a thin brown summer coat for a heavy, white winter coat.
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Barred Owl
Whoooo is this owl with such a strange name? Let's find out.
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Black Bear
It is rare that you will come in contact with a bear unless you are near bear country.
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Bobcat
What has a stubby "bobbed" tail, sideburns, spiky ear hair and gets called lots of names?
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The Flying Squirrel
It's small, furry, and "flies" from tree to tree.
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Luna Moth
If you see a fluorescent green, large moth in the moonlight, it's probably a Luna moth.
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Porcupine on a log eating berries
This mammal is not the sharp-shooter that many people think.
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Ruffed Grouse
You're walking in the woods on a nice spring day, when suddenly you hear a drumming sound.
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Sugar Maple Tree
The sugar maple was selected as the state tree by school children in a statewide vote in 1893.
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White-Tailed Deer
The white-tailed deer is one of North America's most abundant big-game animal.
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