Journey Back in Ecological Time

by Akhil Kalepu

Apr 24, 2016

Bialowieza Forest, Poland © Aleksander Bolbot | Dreamstime

Trends / Adventure

With an increasingly developed world, primeval forests are becoming a thing of the past. These centuries-old woodlands grew untouched without any significant disturbances, resulting in an ecosystem marked by a high level of bio-diversity and rare species. Many are in danger of being logged out of existence, so be sure to visit these beautiful landscapes before they disappear forever.


Tane Mahuta, Lord of the Forest, Waipoua, New Zealand © Kyrien | Dreamstime 52437962

© Kyrien | Dreamstime


Waipoua Forest, New Zealand

The Kauri trees grew undisturbed on New Zealand’s North Island until the arrival of Maori in the 12th century.


Tracy's Arm Fjord, Tongass National Forest, Alaska © Jmlevi2 | Dreamstime 57969010

© Jmlevi2 | Dreamstime


Tongass National Forest, Alaska

President Theodore Roosevelt established Alaska’s Tongass in 1907, later combining with Alexander Archipelago Forest to become the largest national forest in the United States with 17 million acres of wilderness.


Yakushima Forest, Japan © Sara Winter | Dreamstime 58509106

© Sara Winter | Dreamstime


Yakushima Forest, Japan

Japanese Cedar have grown their wide trunks for 7,000 years on one of the Ōsumi Islands in the South China Sea. This beautiful primeval forest served as the inspiration for Hayao Miyazaki’s film Princess Mononoke.


Daintree National Park, Australia © Dirk Ercken | Dreamstime

© Dirk Ercken | Dreamstime


Daintree Rainforest, Australia

Daintree is one of the most complex ecosystems on the planet. Though it takes just 0.1 percent of Australia’s landmass, it contains 3 percent of all the frog, reptile and marsupial species on the continent, 7 percent of the bird species and 90 percent of the bat and butterfly species.


Mountain Gorillas of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Kenya © Nickjacksonphotography | Dreamstime 41926655

© Nickjacksonphotography | Dreamstime


Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Kenya

Bwindi means “impenetrable” in Runyakitara thanks to the presence of bamboo, ferns and vines that make land crossings difficult. Along with incredible diversity, it is home to more than half the world’s population of mountain gorillas.


Amazon Rainforest, Ecuador © Pablo Hidalgo | Dreamstime 59533135

© Pablo Hidalgo | Dreamstime


Amazon Rainforest

The Amazon makes up more than half the planet’s remaining rainforests with 290 billion trees covering four countries, 60 percent of which is in Brazil. In addition to rare animal species, many uncontacted tribes live in the Peruvian and western Brazilian jungles, living as they did for thousands of years.


Bialowieza Forest, Poland © Aleksander Bolbot | Dreamstime 19607245

© Aleksander Bolbot | Dreamstime


Białowieża Forest

Located on the border between Poland and Belerus, Białowieża is more than 7,000 years old and contains many ancient pedunculate oak trees, the most famous of which was the Jagiełło Oak unfortunately blown down in 1974. The tree reached a height of 128 feet at 450 years old.



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