Animals in the Temperate Rainforest Biome

By G.D. Palmer; Updated April 24, 2017
Black bears are common in North American temperate rainforests.

Most people associate rainforests with jungles and tropical climates. This type of rainforest is most common in Africa, South and Central America and Asia. However, rainforests exist at non-tropical latitudes as well. Called temperate rainforests, these biomes can be found in North America, along the Pacific Northwest coastline and along the western edge of South America. Some temperate rainforests may also be found in the United Kingdom. According to World Builders, these forests receive between 60 and 200 inches of rain per year and are home to many species of animals.

Banana Slug

Native to North America's Pacific Northwest region, this bright yellow, shell-less mollusk is one of the largest slugs in the world. According to the University of San Francisco, these creatures can grow to be up to 10 inches in length, but average six to eight inches. They are general herbivores and eat green plants, leaf litter and fungus. Sometimes they also scavenge from animal carcasses and droppings.


American elk are among the largest deer in the world and also one of the largest animals in North America. These creatures live in forests and on the edge of the forest and can be found throughout North America's temperate rainforests. Male elk have large antlers, which they shed yearly, and are commonly hunted for their meat, hides and antlers. Elk are primarily grazers and prefer grass and herbaceous vegetation to tree leaves.

Black Bear

Black bears are native to North America and are one of the most common bear species on that continent. They live in all kinds of forests, including the temperate rainforest, and may be black, brown or even white. These animals are opportunistic eaters and will consume plants, animals, carrion and even human food. They maintain large territories and overwinter in enclosed dens.

Southern Pudu

According to the Bristol Zoo Gardens, the southern pudu is the world's smallest true deer, at only about 22 pounds. They live in the thick, temperate rainforests of South America. These creatures are solitary animals that meet with other pudu only to mate and give birth. They are classified as a vulnerable species, since their rainforest habitat has been extensively cleared for human development and cattle ranching.


According to Animal Diversity Web, the kodkod is the smallest cat species in the Western Hemisphere--normally no larger than a house cat. These animals have large feet and claws and a gray-brown or reddish-brown fur color, with dark spots and striped tails. These animals are found in southern Patagonia and central Chile and prefer evergreen temperate rainforests and moist deciduous forests. They eat primarily small rodents, birds and reptiles, as well as large insects.

About the Author

G.D. Palmer is a freelance writer and illustrator living in Milwaukee, Wis. She has been producing print and Web content for various organizations since 1998 and has been freelancing full-time since 2007. Palmer holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in writing and studio art from Beloit College in Beloit, Wis.