Rain Forest Threats, Rain Forest Species More than half of Earth’s rain forests have already been lost forever to the insatiable human demand for wood and arable land. Rain forests that once grew over 14 percent of the land on Earth now cover only about 6 percent. And if current deforestation rates continue, these critical habitats could disappear from the planet completely within the next hundred years. The reasons for plundering rain forests are mainly economic. Wealthy nations drive demand for tropical timber, and cash-strapped governments often grant logging concessions at a fraction of the land’s true value. Time: The New Age of Extinction There are at least 8 million unique species of life on the planet, if not far more, and you could be forgiven for believing that all of them can be found in Andasibe. Walking through this rain forest in Madagascar is like stepping into the library of life. Sunlight seeps through the silky fringes of the Ravenea louvelii, an endangered palm found, like so much else on this African island, nowhere else. Leaf-tailed geckos cling to the trees, cloaked in green. A fat Parson's chameleon lies lazily on a branch, beady eyes scanning for dinner. But the animal I most hoped to find, I don't see at first; I hear it, though — a sustained groan that electrifies the forest quiet.
News: Rain Forest For centuries, humans have relied on rain forests for a variety of products. Foods such as tomatoes, peppers, corn, rice, coconuts, bananas, coffee, cocoa, tapioca, beans, and sweet potatoes all originally came from the rain forest. Many civilizations have exploited the timber in rain forests and cleared the land for farms. Some preliterate tribes have actually lived in the rain forests for thousands of years. Today people rely on tropical rain forests for a variety of everyday products: paper (7 percent of all paper pulp comes from the rain forest); rubber (used in tires and other products); wax (used in plastics); mahogany and teak (used in wood products such as furniture); and many other items.
Rain Forest In Brazil, which houses 30 percent of the remaining tropical rain forest on Earth, more than 50,000 square miles of rain forest were lost to deforestation between 2000 and 2005. Biologists worry about the long-term consequences. Drought may be one. Some rain forests, including the Amazon, began experiencing drought in the 1990s, possibly due to deforestation and global warming. Efforts to discourage deforestation, mainly through sustainable-logging initiatives, are underway on a very limited basis but have had a negligible impact so far. National Geographic: Endangered species An endangered species is a type of organism that is threatened by extinction. Species become endangered for two main reasons: loss of habitat and loss of genetic variation. Loss of Habitat A loss of habitat can happen naturally.
Rainforest Coloring Pages and Activities for Kids Color in your favorite rainforest birds, mammals, reptiles and plants in our coloring book, or teach yourself about the rainforest with our fun experiments, crafts, and quizzes. Coloring Pages: Amphibians Rainforest Biomes The tropical rain forest is a forest of tall trees in a region of year-round warmth. An average of 50 to 260 inches (125 to 660 cm.) of rain falls yearly. Rain forests belong to the tropical wet climate group. The temperature in a rain forest rarely gets higher than 93 °F (34 °C) or drops below 68 °F (20 °C); average humidity is between 77 and 88%; rainfall is often more than 100 inches a year. There is usually a brief season of less rain.
WWF: Priority & endangered species In the time is takes you to read this page, one of our planet’s unique species will become extinct. By this time tomorrow, a further 150–200 will have disappeared forever. And by this time next year, over 50,000 more. This alarming rate of extinction is 100-1,000 times, and perhaps even 11,000 times, greater than the expected natural rate. One in four of the world’s mammals are now threatened with extinction in the near future.