The Amazon Rainforest

1851 Words 8 Pages
The Amazon Rainforest covers approximately 2,650,000 square miles of land in South America, more than one third of the entire continent. It is full of natural resources, such as fruits, vegetables, pharmaceuticals derived from plants, oils used for perfumes and detergents, and woods. Comprised of the largest collection of living plant and animal species in the world, this rainforest is also home to hundreds of indigenous tribes, each with their own language, culture, and territory(USA TODAY, 2012). The Amazon has given the world so much, and in return we have destroyed more than 20 percent of this rainforest, by clearing the trees for logging operations, mining operations, farming, and much more. This not only threatens the lives and future …show more content…
The Amazon River, for which the Rainforest was named for, begins in the Peruvian Andes and expands over the northern half of South America. The river is approximately 4,080 miles long, and lies in Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Columbia, Venezuela, and the Guyanas. Almost thirty billion gallons of water travel to the Atlantic Ocean every minute (Blue Planet Biomes, 2003). True to its name, the rainforest receives about nine feet of rain per year. However, most of the rainforest’s water comes from the snowmelt high in the Peruvian Andes. From June to October, the water level can rise up to 45 feet. Due to foliage of the trees, about fifty percent of the rainfall and snowmelt returns to the …show more content…
However, researchers claim that the animals lost to date are just one-fifth of those doomed to die. According to scientists, deforestation has cleared so much land that 38 more species are likely to become extinct in coming years, including 10 mammals, 20 bird species and 8 amphibian species. Some species are killed off directly through the clearing of the forest, but many face a slower death sentence due to lower breeding rates and a higher competition for food. Robert Ewers, a science journalist, predicted future extinction rates, under the scenarios of “business as usual” to “strong reduction”, which would require deforestation to decrease by 80%. "For now, the problem is along the arc of deforestation in the south and east where there is a long history of forest loss. But that is going to move in the future. We expect most of the species there to go extinct, and we 'll pick up more extinction debt along the big, paved highways which are now cutting into the heart of the Amazon," Ewers told the Guardian from Belém, northern Brazil (The Guardian, 2012). Under the “business as usual”, in which forest clearing will not decrease, 55 species are expected to die out by 2050. Even if cattle ranchers and farmers comply with Brazilian environmental laws, nearly 38 species could still be

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