Distribution of the tropical rainforest
The tropical rainforest is one of the largest terrestrial biome on the earth. It is the most productive and diverse ecosystem on land. It contains over 50% of world’s species in just 6% of land. Tropical rainforests accounts for 80% of world’s insect and 90% of primates. Rainforest once covered almost 15% of the earth’s land, now has declined to only 6% due to wide spread clearance. Over 200 million people live in the rain forest. The annual loss of rainforest is about 30-40 million acres (almost the size of England). In general rainforest is disappearing at one acre per second (1 acre = .0040 sq km). According to WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) 12-15 million hectares (1 hectare = .01 sq.km) of forest are lost each year, equivalent of 36 football fields per minute. The Amazon rainforest in South America is by far the world’s largest rainforest, covers the Amazon river basin. Over half of the forest lies in Brazil, which holds about one-third of the world’s remaining rainforest. About 13% of the Amazon rainforest is in Peru and remaining smaller areas in Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Guyana and Suriname.Central America- The main areas of existing rainforests are Panama, Costa Rica, Honduras, Belize, southern Mexico, some islands in the Caribbean.Africa, Congo basin- central Africa holds the world second largest rainforest in Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon.South-East Asia- India, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia. Nearly 85% of the island of Papua New Guinea is covered by rainforest.Australia– north eastern coastal zone of North Queensland coast. Click here to find out Countries with the largest rainforest coverage.
Photographs of Rainforest on National Geographic
National Geographic photo gallery on Tropical Rain forest wildlife
Deforestation in photographs by National Geographic
Virtual Field trip
1. What are the 4 major layers of the tropical rainforest?
2. Identify the type of trees which grow over 40 meters tall.