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Deforestation of rainforests . Ashley Elder. What is a rainforest? . Rainforests are the Earth’s oldest living ecosystems. They cover only 6% of the earths surface They contain over half of the worlds plants and animals. Why is it called “rain”forest?.

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what is a rainforest
What is a rainforest?
  • Rainforests are the Earth’s oldest living ecosystems.
  • They cover only 6% of the earths surface
  • They contain over half of the worlds plants and animals
why is it called rain forest
Why is it called “rain”forest?
  • Because of the amount of rainfall it gets per year.
  • The climate of a rain forest is very hot and humid so the animals and plants that exist there must learn to adapt to this climate.
4 primary levels
4 primary levels
  • The tallest trees are the emergents, towering as much as 200 feet above the forest floor with trunks that measure up to 16 feet around.   Most of these trees are broad-leaved, hardwood evergreens. Sunlight is plentiful up here.  Animals found are eagles, monkeys, bats and butterflies.
  • This is the primary layer of the forest and forms a roof over the two remaining layers.   Most canopy trees have smooth, oval leaves that come to a point. It's a maze of leaves and branches.  Many animals live in this area since food is abundant.   Those animals include: snakes, toucans and treefrogs.
  • Little sunshine reaches this area so the plants have to grow larger leaves to reach the sunlight.   The plants in this area seldom grow to 12 feet.  Many animals live here including jaguars, red-eyed tree frogs and leopards.  There is a large concentration of insects here.
  • It's very dark down here.  Almost no plants grow in this area, as a result.  Since hardly any sun reaches the forest floor things begin to decay quickly.  A leaf that might take one year to decompose in a regular climate will disappear in  6 weeks.   Giant anteaters live in this layer.
  • Rainforests once covered 14% of the earth's land surface; now they cover a mere 6% and experts estimate that the last remaining rainforests could be consumed in less than 40 years.
  • Rainforests are being destroyed because the value of rainforest land is perceived as only the value of its timber by short-sighted governments, multi-national logging companies, and land owners.
  • Experts estimates that we are losing 137 plant, animal and insect species every single day due to rainforest deforestation. That equates to 50,000 species a year.
  • As the rainforest species disappear, so do many possible cures for life-threatening diseases.
  • Currently, 121 prescription drugs sold worldwide come from plant-derived sources. While 25% of Western pharmaceuticals are derived from rainforest ingredients, less that 1% of these tropical trees and plants have been tested by scientists.

There were an estimated ten million Indians living in the Amazonian Rainforest five centuries ago. Today there are less than 200,000.

  • In Brazil alone, European colonists have destroyed more than 90 indigenous tribes since the 1900's.
why we need the rainforest
Why we need the rainforest
  • The Amazon Rainforest covers over a billion acres, encompassing areas in Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia and the Eastern Andean region of Ecuador and Peru. If Amazonia were a country, it would be the ninth largest in the world.
  • The Amazon Rainforest has been described as the "Lungs of our Planet" because it provides the essential environmental world service of continuously recycling carbon dioxide into oxygen. More than 20 percent of the world oxygen is produced in the Amazon Rainforest.
  • Without the rainforest we wouldn’t have oxygen, without oxygen you would die.
what we need the rainforest for
What we need the rainforest for!
  • The U.S. National Cancer Institute has identified 3000 plants that are active against cancer cells. 70% of these plants are found in the rainforest. Twenty-five percent of the active ingredients in today's cancer-fighting drugs come from organisms found only in the rainforest.
  • Without the rainforests there would no longer be a cure for fighting cancer.
  • The rainforest is home to over 50% of all animals in the world.
    • Butterfly
    • Chameleon
    • Gorilla
    • Macaw-parrot (blue and yellow with a white face and colorful tails)
    • Sloth- 2 kinds: 3 toed sloth and the2 toed sloth
what s in the rainforest
What's in the rainforest
  • chocolate
  • sugar
  • cinnamon
  • rubber
  • medicine
  • Pineapples
  • Without the rainforest we would no longer have these foods
  • Without it many animals would become extinct.