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Jessi, Huckleberry, Kemosabe, Zoe, and more animal friends show off why trees are so important for everyone!

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Hello and welcome back to Animal Wonders!

I’m Jessi and I love animals. When I think about wildlife, I always picture animals living amongst trees: deer hiding in a forest of pine trees, magpies perched in aspen groves, orangutans peeking through branches and leaves.

In my mind and in nature, trees and animals go hand in hand. Which is why it should come as no surprise that I also love trees, and it’s why the. Animal Wonders team has joined forces with Team Trees and a bunch of other YouTubers in partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation to plant 20 million trees in 2020!

Team Trees is focused on restoring high risk forests, and I’m totally on board with there being 20 million more trees in the world. You can learn more about this movement by going to Trees are a vital part of many animals’ habitats, and today I’d just like to celebrate our trees and the many ways they improve the lives of the species of animals that live at Animal Wonders. [CHEERY INTRO MUSIC].

The biggest tree appreciator at Animal Wonders has got to be Huckleberry the beaver. He not only eats a few branches every day, but he also spends a good portion of his time arranging all of the leftover sticks into cozy nests and interesting structures. Beavers are well known for their relationships with trees.

They can chew down entire trees to build dams and lodges to keep their babies safe. Beavers actually eat the trees that they build with. They’re mostly searching out the cambium layer just under the bark because it’s nice and sweet.

Researchers are still gathering data on all the ways beavers change their environments surrounding their ponds. A pair of beavers is said to be able to fell at least a metric ton of wood every year. This sounds like it might be a bad thing for trees, but it’s not that simple.

By chewing down certain species and leaving others, they can increase biodiversity in plant species as well as animal species that surround their home. Beavers are a keystone species for biodiversity, and while they are the end for some trees, their selective preference in taste reduces an overabundance of trees like the fast growing aspen and allows room for other species of trees who support an abundant variety of animals. So thank you beavers for being the ultimate tree enthusiasts.

Tree frogs are such fans of trees that it’s literally part of their name. This is Stumpy the dumpy tree frog, and he not only spends his entire life in trees, but he also looks like a tree leaf when he tucks his feet and legs in. They need to be perfectly camouflaged since they’re nocturnal, and they want to be safe while they sleep.

There are so many animals that spend the majority of their time in trees, and we call this lifestyle arboreal. Like Kemosabe the prehensile tailed porcupine, who is an expert climber of trees. Calling the trees your home is a common way many animals survive the challenges of finding enough food and avoiding predators.

Trees provide an excellent source of food for their many occupants. From their leaves, flowers, and buds, to fruit, seeds, and nuts, trees have a plethora of energy sources. Kemosabe would gladly eat anything his trees have to offer, though is personal favorite food is bananas.

Trees also give shelter to animals looking to avoid predators. Some species of animals have intricate camouflage to mimic their tree’s bark exactly, but. Kemosabe like to make sure everyone knows that he’s living in a particular tree by urine marking the branches and then happily rubbing it all over himself as well.

Living up in a tree is a strategic way to have a positional advantage over predators. If a predator does try and come at him, there’s only one direction they can come from, so it’s easy to defend himself. It’s also basically like living in your pantry, but also a tree fort.

So it’s every porcupine’s dream home. While their name may be a bit deceiving, water dragons are tree-centric and spend nearly their entire lives climbing, jumping, hunting, and sleeping in trees. Like other arboreal species, water dragons use camouflage to avoid being seen by predators, and they have many other adaptations for living the tree life, too.

Their toes are long and flexible and their claws are sharp and curved, which is perfect for climbing on various textures of tree bark. They have a long tail which helps them keep balance on long, thin branches. The most notable behavior water dragons do is that they will jump right off their tree branch and into a body of water below if they feel threatened by a predator like a hawk.

Without trees they just wouldn’t have a place to live, and their graceful belly flops into water just wouldn’t be as spectacularly impressive. Parrots like Zoe depend on trees for everything. They use camouflage to stay hidden amongst the foliage.

Her green feathers blend in perfectly with the leaves. They spend most of their day foraging for the trees’ seeds, fruit, and flowers, and they build their nests in the trunks of old or dead trees. So parrots, like many of our other tree loving animals, are totally dependent on trees.

Which is why I think it’s wonderful that parrots will then return the favor to the trees, by being excellent seed dispersers and sometimes even pollinators as well. Many parrot type birds, including macaws like Joy, will take a large fruit from one tree and fly to another tree to eat their meal, often times discarding the seeds while they eat the juicy insides. This effectively plants new baby trees a good distance from the mother tree.

And when some parrots forage for their food, they accidentally collect pollen on their feathers and spread it to another tree’s flowers when they visit a new site. Now I think red-footed tortoises are some of the best advocates for trees because they literally have trees coming and going. These three beauties, Yucca, Titus, and Waffle are representing their wild counterparts who love to eat ripe fruit and swallow big old pieces whole, and then they poop out the fruit seeds intact and ready to grow.

Which makes them seed dispersers - really good ones, too! They can plant trees all day long with such little effort. So I say, let’s help the tortoises plant more trees!

We’ll let the tortoises do it their own special way, while we join together and share our own appreciation for trees. I’m going to help in two ways. One, I’m going to plant my own trees to replenish our riparian area that was previously stripped of trees.

Second, I’ve joined an incredibly ambitious movement called Team Trees whose goal is to plant 20 million trees in 2020. I went to and donated to the Arbor Day Foundation because they are able to identify areas that are in high need of restoration. I can’t realistically travel to these areas myself, so they can plant the trees there on my behalf.

Team Trees has partnered with the Arbor Day Foundation for this inspiring goal, and for every dollar donated they will plant a tree. One dollar, one tree. That’s an incredible way to create lasting impact!

And I’d love if you joined me! I’ve shared our tree planting on our Instagram page, so make sure you go check that out. You can find us under @AnimalWondersMontana.

And if you plant your own tree, please tag us and use the hashtag #teamtrees so we can see it, too. If you choose to donate with me, please post a photo with a tree in it, tag us and don’t forget to hashtag it #teamtrees. Together we can keep wild places and wild animals happy and thriving.

Thank you, and if you want to join us for more animal adventures, subscribe and I’ll see you next week! Thank you for watching Animal Wonders, which is a Complexly production! Right now at Complexly we’re trying something really new for us.

In fact, we’re trying three things that are new for us. It’s a Complexly pilot season! We’re launching three brand new shows, each on their own channel: History Pop,.

Stories Retold, and Hashed Out. Each show will run for three episodes for three weeks, and then we’ll decide which show to continue on. We love all three ideas but don’t have the bandwidth to make all of them happen at the same time, so we would love your feedback on what you think should continue.

We’ve put the links for the channels in the description below. Please check them out and share your thoughts.