Facts about the Amazon Rainforest

The Amazon is the world’s biggest rainforest, larger than the next two largest rainforests — in the Congo Basin and Indonesia — combined. The Amazon is a vast region that spans across eight rapidly developing countries: Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana, an overseas territory of France. Nearly two-thirds of the Amazon rainforest is found in Brazil.The landscape contains about 1.4 billion acres of dense forests, half of the planet’s remaining tropical forests and 4,100 miles of winding rivers. The Amazon contains millions of species, most of them still undescribed, and some of the world’s most unusual wildlife. It is one of Earth’s last refuges for jaguars, harpy eagles and pink dolphins, and home to thousands of birds and butterflies. Tree-dwelling species include southern two-toed sloths, pygmy marmosets, saddleback and emperor tamarins, and Goeldi’s monkeys. The Amazon is estimated to have 40,000 plant species, 3,000 freshwater fish species and more than 370 types of reptiles. More than 30 million people, including 350 indigenous and ethnic groups, live in the Amazon and depend on nature for agriculture, clothing and traditional medicines.

Most live in large urban centers, but all residents rely on the Amazon’s natural bounty for food, shelter and livelihoods. Deforestation in the Amazon rainforest has been declining since 2004, mostly due to the falling deforestation rate in Brazil. There are a variety of reasons for the decline, including macroeconomic trends, new protected areas and indigenous territories, improved law enforcement, deforestation monitoring via satellite, pressure from environmental groups, and private sector initiatives.

By:- Ms. Madhuri Rawat
Department of Forestry
Uttaranchal (P.G.) College of Biomedical Sciences and Hospital