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Rainforest Destruction 1 -The worlds largest rainforests occur in the tropical regions of the Americas Asia and Africa Smaller areas of rainforest exist on many pacific islands and in northern Australia -Half the worlds Rainforests grow in the American Tropics -The Amazon jungle is the worlds largest tropical rainforest The forest covers the basin of the Amazon 2 In 1950 rainforests covered about 8700000 square miles Today less than half the original extent of the earths rainforest remains Scientists estimate that rainforest deforestation wipes out about 7500 species a year Rainforests once covered 14 of the earths land surface now they cover 6 3 Tropical rainforests across the world are quite diverse but share several defining characteristics including climate precipitation canopy structure and diversity of species Tropical rainforests are divided into at least five layers the overstory the canopy the understory the shrub layer and the forest floor 4 -Rainforests must lie in the tropics to grow and usually have at least 80 inches of rain per year -Rainforests have a high level of biological diversity or biodiversity -Symbiotic relationships between species species in the rainforest often work together 5 Humans are the main cause of rainforest destruction or deforestation Humans are cutting down rainforests for many reasons including -wood for both timber and wood for making fires -agriculture for both small and large farms -land for poor farmers who dont have anywhere else to live -grazing land for cattle -road construction One of the leading causes of rainforest destruction is logging Many types of wood used for furniture flooring and construction are harvested from tropical forests in Africa Asia and South America The worlds rainforests are found in the poorest areas on the planet The people who live in and around rainforests rely on these areas for their survival They collect fruit and wood hunt wildlife to put meat on the table and are paid
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