Tropical Forest Facts Everyone Should Know
Tropical forests are some of the richest, most exciting areas on earth. They are home to gigantic trees, colorful birds and a huge variety of fascinating mammals. Over 50% of the world's documented species can be found in tropical rainforests, even though they cover only about 7% of the Earth's land surface (8,000 years ago, they covered about double the current area).
Tropical forests are closed canopy forests growing within 28 degrees north or south of the equator. They are very wet places, receiving more than 200 cm of rainfall per year, either seasonally or throughout the year. Temperatures are uniformly high - between 20°C and 35°C. Such forests are found in Asia, Australia, Africa, South America, Central America, Mexico and on many of the Pacific Islands.
Tropical forests have the largest living biomass and boast some of the highest rates of terrestrial biodiversity. But rainforests are perhaps the most endangered habitat on earth and most vulnerable to deforestation.
Each year, some 140,000 sq. km of rainforests are destroyed. Rainforests are being felled for timber by logging companies and cleared by people for farming. The most endangered rainforests are those in West Africa, where human populations are doubling every 20 years, and in Central America and South-East Asia. Although large areas of rainforest remain in Central Africa and South America, they too, are disappearing at an alarming rate.
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