Nature In The Natural State: Snags

Jan 31, 2020

Did you know there’s a name for upright dead trees? They are called snags, and they’re an essential part of a forest ecosystem. Here are just a few reasons why you shouldn’t cut down and cart away a snag.

They release nutrients into the soil slowly over time. They provide nesting sites for more than 80 species of birds, including owls, bluebirds, and pileated woodpeckers. Mammals, such as bats and flying squirrels, reptiles, such as skinks, and amphibians, such as tree frogs, live in them. Their insect inhabitants are an important food source for birds and mammals. Woodpeckers, mice, squirrels, and other animals use snags to store food.

Wildlife needs snags. Removing all the dead wood from a forest can remove the habitat for up to one-fifth of the wildlife. For more information, see