Amazon Rainforest Biodiversity

By: Sydney Sweitzer

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Location

The Amazon is found in South America, spanning across Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana. It is crisscrossed with thousands of rivers, the most exceptional being the powerful Amazon River. The measurement of the Amazon Rainforest is 5.5 million square miles.

Importance of the Amazon Rainforest

The Amazon Rainforest is important because not only does it host a wide range of species, but it also benefits us with medicine and some raw materials.there are around 40,000 plant species, 1,300 bird species, 3,000 types of fish, 430 mammals and 2.5 million different insects.This area of immense natural beauty is sometimes referred to as ‘the lungs of the Earth. This is because the rich vegetation takes carbon dioxide out of the air, and releases oxygen back in. In fact, more than 20% of the world’s oxygen is produced by the Amazon. Most medicine does come out of the Amazon Rainforest because some of the plant species that are located there have certain properties that can be used to heal cuts, cure headaches, relief pain, etc.

Harmful Activites

The three pictures below only show some of the damage that human activities cause to the Amazon Rainforest. There are many more activities that cause damage to the Rainforest such as, cattle grazing, harvesting of resources, contaminating of water drug lords, etc. Chopping down the trees, or it can also be called deforestation is killing many species of plants and is taking away the habitats of many species of animals. The burning of the trees is very harmful to all the species of plants and animals in the area, but it is also damaging the air and possibly the closest water source. The hunting of endangered animals is also very threatening and dangerous. Some animals are only located in the Amazon Rainforest and if they were to go extinct, it could cause a huge shift in the balance of the food web.

Protection Efforts

There are many efforts now being pushed and being used to help preserve the Amazon Rainforest and also the wide range of animal and plant species that live in it. Organizations are now sending groups over to the forest to help preserve animal and plant life and to also try to clean up the forest. More ad's are being released to the public about donating money to save lives or about what the public can do to help. Also, more people are being educated on the importance of the Amazon Rainforest and also on all the animals that live there. As seen in the picture, this group of students are making containers that catch fresh for some of the animals to drink.

Animals and Plants of the Amazon Rainforest