The Amazon rainforest is the most biologically diverse place on Earth. Of all the known species in the world, 10% are in the Amazon rainforest. But the most species aren’t described yet. So, deforestation and wildfires are a huge risk for all life on Earth. We need to stop or at least decrease the current rate of deforestation. Otherwise, WWF estimates that 27% of the Amazon biome will be without trees by 2030.
One in 10 known species on Earth
With the data the we already have is possible to see how the rainforest is important to maintain life on Earth. However, we probably know just a few part of the entire number of species. The majority of invertebrates species such as arthropods are still unknown to us. As the vertebrate species are easier to identify and classify. But there are scientific studies the show that for every species of mammals there is three hundreds of arthropods species in rainforests.
According to WWF, the Amazon rainforest is the home of more than a thousand different species of birds like hummingbirds, channel-billed toucans, hoatzins and macaws, the Amazon is one of the most diverse areas for birds in the world. Macaws, an icon of the Amazon, are highly intelligent and social, living in flocks of 10 to 30 birds. They mate for life and can live up to 60 years. Some species can even mimic human speech.
The Amazon is one of Earth’s last refuges for jaguars and pink river dolphins, and it is home to sloths, black spider monkeys and other hundreds of mammals species.
To date, we known at least 80.000 of plant species in the Amazon rainforest. According to WWF, 40,000 species of these plants play a critical role in regulating the global climate and sustaining the local water cycle.
You can understand the huge biodiversity if you try to find two trees of the same species walking a few minutes in the Amazon rainforest. You will walk across very different species. Just the western part of the Amazon River Basin has the highest diversity of trees in the world.
More than 350 indigenous and ethnic groups, live in the Amazon and depend on nature to keep their culture alive.
Talk to other people about the importance of rainforests is a way of keep them alive. We need to reminder that this planet is the home of millions of living beings. Also, our own life depends of the environment.
If you are a biologist or ecologist and want to show more about the biodiversity, you can try creating graphical abstracts on Mind the Graph. Also, you have have pictures, images or charts, share with us! I would love to see more about it.
Also published on Medium.