Rainforests cover just about 6% of the earth and yet over half of all the species in the world are located there. They are all located below the equator and are mostly in the eastern hemisphere so they have a humid climate. Rainforests are all over the world. The next two pages will show you where they are and tell you a little bit about them.
1 = Central America- this area was once completely covered with rainforest but most was destroyed for farming and ranching purposes. It is famous for it’s large number of birds.
2 = The Amazon- Located in South America, the Amazon is the world’s largest tropical rainforest. It holds 1/5 of the worlds birds and plants and about 1/10 of all mammal species.
3 = Africa- Central Africa has the worlds second largest rainforest. It also holds the island of Madagascar which is no longer as intensely forested as it used to be. It contains cloud forests, flooded forests, and mangrove swamps. Many unique plants and animals are found on the island of Madagascar.
4 = Southern Asia- stretching from India to Burma, west of Malaysia and the islands of Java, and east of Borneo. I am talking about the rainforest in Asia that contains the largest Mangrove forests in the world. Down in the most southern forests the climate is hot and humid year round. Nearer the mainland there are subtropical climates where monsoons are followed by a drier period.
5 = Australasia- The many islands that speckle the Indian and North Pacific Oceans are the homes of the Australasia rainforests. About a million years ago New guinea, New Zealand, and Australia formed part of a great southern continent isolated from the rest of the world. Today the dense, lush undergrowth of this rainforest is home to many different species of animals.
Ocelot: The ocelot has both sharp teeth and strong legs for it’s defense. The spots in their fur help them to hide in the rainforest. They can also swim very well to get away from an enemy. Jaguars and large monkeys are some of the large animals that will attack ocelots. This animal is a member of the cat family.
Kinkajous: Kinkajous are very fast and can travel quickly along the tree tops. They will scream if frightened, and will claw and bite their enemies. They hide in tree holes during the day. They use their prehensile or grabbing tail, to travel, just like an extra hand. They are related to raccoons and the ringtail.
Three Toed Sloth: The weapons of three - toed sloth’s are their claws and their teeth. Their coloring helps them to hide in the trees, and since they move slowly, they are hard to see. They have excellent eyesight, and can turn their heads 3/4 of the way around!
Poison Dart Frog: Poison dart frogs have special glands on their backs that contain poison that will harm whatever eats it. Their bright colors warn animals to stay away.
The loss of trees: As more and more trees are cut down, burned, and die, carbon dioxide is added to the ozone layer taking away the amount of oxygen for the rest of the rainforest.
The Animals: The animals that live in the rainforest are rare and valuable to the world. If we lose them for good it takes away our chances of learning more about the world. As the loss of trees decreases the amount of homes, oxygen, and sources of food for the animals increase and more and more die. This leaves the food web and ecosystem messed up. The animals’ instincts and adaptations to it’s environment are also put out of whack with the rising heat and constant search for resources.
The Exotic Plants: We use the plants from the rainforest to make today's modern medicine. If all of those plants are gone for good, we may be out of medical cures. And if the scientists are right and the germs are getting smarter we will need those plants to help cure the people affected. With the temperature rising, the heat causes the adaptations of the plants to become useless. This calls for more adapting and that takes a long time. Soon it will be too LATE!
The Natives: The Penans, the indigenous people of the Borneo rainforest, depend on their natural resources. If all of those natural resources are destroyed GHGs will be added to the air and the Penans will have fewer and fewer resources to work with. They will also have a lack of clean air due to the increase of carbon dioxide and the decrease of trees. It will be even hotter for them in the rainforest than it is now.