COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND FACTS
What is a rainforest?
A tropical rainforest is an ecosystem distinguished by being warm and wet. To be considered a rainforest, annual rainfall in an area must be 75 inches at a minimum, and most rainforests get over 100 inches of rain every year. Moreover, temperatures in a rainforest are warm year-round. (There are other ecosystems known as “temperate rainforests,” which also get a lot of rain but have much cooler temperatures.)
Rainforests of the world:
Tropical rainforests surround the earth’s equatorial zone and are warm and humid places. They provide shelter and sustenance to an enormous variety of plant and animal species, and they are also home to 50 million Indigenous peoples. Although tropical forests cover less than 7% of the earth’s surface they are home to approximately 50% of all living things on earth.
What is Amazonia?
Amazonia is a region that includes most of Northern Brazil and parts of the bordering countries of French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. Amazonia can be visualized as a funnel (with its wide end at the Andes) draining some six million square kilometers through a complex of rivers that are tributaries of the Amazon River. The Amazon River has the greatest volume of water of any river in the world. It is navigable along its entire 4000 mile length (6,400 km). The Amazon is also extraordinarily rich in biodiversity. A very large number of Amazonian plant and animal species are “endemic”, meaning that they are found there and nowhere else. Recent estimates from Conservation International indicate that in the Amazon one can find:
- 18,000 varieties of plants (c.13, 680 endemic)
- 434 species of mammals (138 endemic)
- 239 reptile species (59 endemic)
- 225 species of amphibians (203 endemic)
- And more freshwater fish and primates than anywhere else on the planet!