The world’s rain forests are in danger and yet they are such a vital part of the world’s ecosystem, believed to be the oldest ecosystem on earth. They receive the highest volume of rain on the earth and the water they produce evaporates and produces rain elsewhere. So, when rain forests retreat less rain falls across the earth.
This infographic offers some amazing facts and figures about the earth’s rain forests. Rain forests cover less than a third of the surface of the earth yet more than half of the globe’s terrestrial animals call them home. As the forests slowly recede so the habitat of animals as diverse as the mountain gorilla and the Bengal tiger is disappearing and putting them at increased danger of extinction.
A large number of species live in the trees including many such as salamanders, anteaters, and crabs that are normally ground-dwelling creatures. This makes for the very wide variety of animal species found in these environments. In addition, one-quarter of the world’s natural medicines originate in the rainforests of the world.
The Amazon rain forest is the biggest on earth and is roughly the size of the United States. Second to that is the Congo Basin in Central Africa. There are rain forests on every continent with the exception of Antarctica.
Agriculture is the biggest driver of deforestation and many companies are now actively working to exclude products grown in areas that have been denuded of forests. The local people have also been trained to understand the importance of the forest. Not enough is being done, but people are starting to understand that rainforests are essential to the health of the globe.