||A Unique Ecosystem: The Flora and Fauna of the Tropical Rain Forest
The term "rainforest" was first used in 1898 by a German botanist, Schimper, to describe forests that grow in constantly wet conditions. These forests are found in both temperate and tropical conditions, but occur most frequently around the equator. The largest of these, the Amazon rainforest, covers six million square kilometers (2.3 million square miles), in nine different countries: Brazil, French Guiana, Surinam, Guyana, Venezuela, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.
The Amazon is one of the most biologically diverse areas on Earth:
Recent Happenings in the Amazon According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, 25,300 sq. kilometers (9,800 sq. mi.) of Brazilian rainforest were destroyed each year between 1981-85.
Recent figures released by Brazil's National Institute for Space Development indicate that approximately 1.5 sq. mi. of Brazilian rainforest were lost every hour between 1987-88.
Many developing nations face serious economic problems, including vast foreign debts. In 1987 the combined external debt of Brazil, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, Columbia and Bolivia was more than $US 2 billion.
A recent January 8, 1995 Newsweek article states that "from June to November of last year, tens of thousands of fires blazed over the 2 million miles of the Brazilian Amazon."
To date, Brasilia has allotted only $2.4 million for a detailed study of rainforest damage over the last three years.
Page created by Chris Kreger
Maintained by ETE Team
Last updated November 10, 2004
Some images © 2004 www.clipart.com
Privacy Statement and Copyright © 1997-2004 by Wheeling Jesuit University/NASA-supported Classroom of the Future. All rights reserved.
Center for Educational Technologies, Circuit Board/Apple graphic logo, and COTF Classroom of the Future logo are registered trademarks of Wheeling Jesuit University.