Rainforests are the most vital habitats on Earth, serving as our planet’s powerhouses by creating their own climates; which in turn impacts global weather systems. They also house more than half of the world’s plant and animal species! This month’s guest blog post comes from Todd Smith, an advocate of rainforest preservation with an interest in ecology. Todd has created an incredible infographic, which I’m very happy to share at the end of this post.
The Earth’s rainforests are truly remarkable areas. Away from the bustle and glitz of major cities, the rainforests provide a pacifying, captivating experience where, instead of car horns and blaring pop music, your ears are serenaded by animals in their natural habitat, leaves blowing gently and splashes of water.
At present, 2% of this planet is covered in rainforests. It’s a figure that ought to be higher, but sadly deforestation continues apace and wonderful rare species of animals and trees are being shepherded towards extinction. For all the destruction of some rainforest regions, though, there are still vast swarms of land which thankfully remain untouched and where you can find animal and plant life you won’t get anywhere else.
The Amazon rainforest
By a distance, the Amazon rainforest is the largest in the world. Of South America’s 13 countries, it traverses nine and still extends to 5.5 million square kilometres despite large areas being destroyed by deforestation.
One-third of all plant species on Earth are located in the Amazon Basin, which houses a vast array of animal life including jaguars, cougars, anacondas, piranhas and electric eels. Of course, not all these creatures are friendly(!), but observing them first-hand is nonetheless enthralling.
If South America has the Amazon, then Africa has the Congo Rainforest. Another nine-country expanse covering almost the entire breadth of the southern half of the continent, this is an area which proves that humankind and wildlife can live in pleasant harmony. More than 75 million people reside within the confines of the Congo Rainforest, representing a plethora of native tribes. This is where you’ll find elephants, gorillas and lions in their natural surroundings, encountering them just as readily as you’d spot a McDonalds in any city.
Rainforests at risk
While these rainforest regions are likely to remain largely untouched for generations, there are parts of Asia which have not been so lucky. The Sinharaja Forest Reserve is the last viable area of tropical rainforest in Sri Lanka, having been reduced to less than 90 square kilometres, while the Southeast Asian Rainforest once housed more than 200 tree species in a single hectare before deforestation eradicated most of these.
Here is an infographic guide to some of the world’s most prominent rainforests, with a few interesting facts on each:
Todd Smith is the owner of Jarrimber, stockists of quality Jarrah furniture in Australia. He explains “We use Jarrah and Marri timbers in the manufacture of our products, many of which are constructed from recycled timber. Our company is dedicated to promoting environmental responsibility and, where possible, we will always use recycled timber in our factory rather than new timber. Even though our business sells timber products, I would be an advocate of rainforest preservation and I’ve always had an interest in ecology, which is why I wanted to put this infographic together.” For more information visit jarrimber.com.au