The Douglas County Forest provides habitat for numerous species of songbirds, waterfowl, raptors, shorebirds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and mammals. Each species, or interacting group of species, thrives under different conditions, that is, from recently disturbed ground to old growth.
A diversity of plant communities is essential to providing a niche for wildlife.
- The aspen forest type is recognized as key habitat for ruffed grouse and white-tailed deer and is important in maintaining biological diversity across North America.
- Longer rotation forest communities, such as uneven-aged northern hardwoods, provide important habitat for less well known species such as the pileated woodpecker and northern goshawk.
- Permanently sodded, grassy openings within the Douglas County Forest, many originating from old log landings, camps, old burns, or frost pockets, are vital components of wildlife habitat. An effort is being made to maintain and improve the quality and quantity of these openings. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources partners with Douglas County maintaining these designated openings on a cyclical basis.