Presentation on theme: "South America Amazon Rainforest. The World’s Rainforests Rainforests cover 7% of the Earth’s land surface. The world’s tropical rainforests are home to."— Presentation transcript:
The World’s Rainforests Rainforests cover 7% of the Earth’s land surface. The world’s tropical rainforests are home to over 50% of the world’s plants and animals. The last remaining rainforests could be gone in less than 40 years…
The Amazon River Begins in the Peruvian Andes and flows over 4,000 miles east to the Atlantic Ocean Widest river in the world Empties 55 million gallons of water per second into the Atlantic –8 trillion gallons per day Contains 20% of the world’s fresh water
The Rainforest Amazon rainforest covers 2/5 (40%) of the continent and is located in parts of 9 countries. –Covers over half of Brazil It is thought to be the oldest rainforest in the world –Roughly 100 million years old.
Scientists believe over half of the world’s species of plants and animals live in this rainforest –Although the rainforest only covers 2% of the earth’s surface.
Layers of the Rainforest Emergent Layer: –Tallest trees; 100-240 feet tall Upper Canopy: –60-130 feet tall trees –Canopy = dense top of trees in the Rainforest Lower canopy: –60 foot tall trees, trunks of taller trees; little air movement, total shade Forest floor: –Completely shaded; few bushes or shrubs grow there; less than 1% of light reaches forest floor
“The Lungs of our Planet” More than 20% of the world’s oxygen is produced in the Amazon rainforest! The “lungs of the earth”... Because convert carbon dioxide into oxygen.
Who lives there? People: –It is estimated that five hundred years ago there were over 2,000 indigenous tribes living in the Amazon A population totaling over 7 million. –Today, there are less than 400 tribes and about 1.5 million people left. –Indigenous populations depend on the rainforest in order to maintain their traditional way of life. Food, clothing, shelter, spiritual life.
What lives there? Animals: –The Amazon rainforest is home to diverse amounts of animals: 2.5 million insect species Over 2,000 mammal and bird species.
Plants: –The Amazon rainforest has the highest diversity of plant species in the world. –Over 300,000 species of plants have been identified, Scientists believe there are over 20,000 yet to be identified!
What’s happening to the Rainforest? Deforestation (cutting down the trees) caused by clear-cutting, commercial logging, and harmful agricultural practices are destroying the world’s rainforests.Deforestation (cutting down the trees) –Why cut down the rainforest? additional land for housing agriculture (slash and burn) cattle ranches roads new settlements mining. One and a half acres of rainforest are destroyed every second! –That’s 2 football fields! An estimated 137 plant, animal, and insect species are lost every day to deforestation!
3 results of Deforestation –Reduced soil fertilization –Mudslides and ozone depletion –Loss of habitat for birds and animals
Why is the Rainforest important? Over 3000 fruits come from the rainforest! One-fifth of the world’s oxygen is produced there! (20%) Currently, 121 prescription drugs come from plants found in the rainforest! Provides resources to be sold... Brazil nuts, cocoa, rubber, timber
What is being done to save the rainforest? Conservation groups are working to preserve current forest land and restore destroyed forest land. –Brazil is currently playing an active role in preventing further deforestation. Government has created laws to control the amount of the rainforest cut down. Trying to find ways to use the rainforest resources without cutting it down. –Restoration (the process of rebuilding a rainforest) involves planting wide varieties (diversity) of plants in a devastated area.
How can we help save the Rainforest? Use less paper! Use less gasoline and plastic! –In other words… RECYCLE! Raise money to protect an acre of rainforest! Educate yourself and others about the importance of the rainforests!
Summarizing Activity List 3 reasons why the Amazon is being destroyed. List 2 reasons why the Amazon is important. What negative effect does deforestation have on the environment?