Rainforest Habitat Loss

Erin McGraw


"It doesn't take an encounter with a comet to wipe out 40% of the species on Earth. Chainsaws and bulldozers can do that just as well." Rainforest habitat loss has many negative effects towards many different plant and animal species. The rainforest is very important not just to plants and animals but also to humans and Earth as well. We will first take a look at why the rainforest is so important, then to what the major threats to the rainforest are, and then finally find ways on how we can prevent rainforest habitat loss.

Why is the rainforest so important?

The rainforest is home to many different plant and animal species. According to Habitats&Wildlife in Danger by: Sarah Levete, over 40% of the world's oxygen is produced by rainforests. One in ten known species belongs to the Amazon rainforest. More than 50% of earth's plant and animal species are at home in tropical rainforests. One 3.86 square mile area of forest contains approximately 1,500 species of flowering plants. The destruction of rainforests wipe out ancient and unique living things . Without the rainforest, many plants and animals won't survive.

What are some of the threats towards the rainforest?

The rainforests today are suffering. According to WWF (World Wildlife Fund), as the demand for beef and soy increase, so does the demand for more land. 80% of the deforested areas in the Amazon are occupied by cattle pasture. The runoff from these pastures contaminate the rivers in the rainforests and the fire, used to manage the fields, often spreads into the forest. Also, hydro-power is becoming more popular. However, the dams built into the rivers, are causing problems in the rainforest rivers. The dams disrupt river connectivity and block the range of aquatic species spread throughout the rivers. Inefficient processes of drawing natural resources lead to the destruction of nature and wildlife. Environmental damages including gold mining, oil exploration, illegal logging, and over harvesting of fish and other aquatic species also have a part in the destruction of habitats.