The Amazon Rainforest, also known as “the lungs of the planet” is considered to be the largest and most complex ecosystem on earth. It provides 20% of our oxygen, regulates global climate patterns, and produces more than 20 percent of Earth’s freshwater. Yet it’s rapidly disappearing, with an area equivalent to 2 football fields being deforested every minute. Loss of vegetation leads to erosion which leads to soil loss; this causes landslides during heavy rainfall which can result in deadly floods downstream.
A variety of animal and plant species live in this ecosystem, including jaguars, monkeys, piranhas, and nearly 400 types of birds! Unfortunately, the Amazon is rapidly disappearing due to deforestation. The clearing of land for agriculture is a major reason for this decline. In Brazil alone, one-fifth of the rainforest has been destroyed since 1970. The Amazon has been under attack for years, and it’s estimated that only 20% of the original forest cover remains today.
The animals and plants that inhabit this region are irreplaceable, not just because they’re rare and beautiful, but also because they hold enormous potential to help us fight disease. For example, two varieties of poison dart frogs have been used for years as a source of toxins that are used to make poison arrows. While this frog is poisonous, it isn’t fatal if eaten and has been used by indigenous tribes in South America as traditional medicine.
In conclusion, the Amazon rainforest is considered to be the largest and most complex ecosystem on earth providing 20% of our oxygen, regulating global climate patterns, producing 20% of Earth’s fresh water, and hosting a countless plant and animal species. Unfortunately, the Amazon is rapidly disappearing, with 2 football fields being deforested every minute. If deforestation continues, who knows what will become of the amazing biodiversity that’s really on this planet!