South America

Amazon Rainforest

Amazon Rainforest is first and foremost the largest Rainforest in the world and also one of the greatest source of natural resources world over.The “Lungs of our Planet” as it is commonly called because its huge vegetation mass recycles carbon dioxide continuously into Oxygen, produces about 20 % of the planets oxygen supply. The Rainforest gets its name from the Amazon River which flows through the entire length of the forest. It begins in the jungles of Peru and travels through the North half of South America and meets the Atlantic Ocean in Brazil. The main river is 4,080 miles long and passes through the countries of Brazil, Columbia, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia,Paraguay, and Uruguay. It is but quite evident that the Amazon Rainforest will be a treasure trove of bio diversity.

The Amazon River was born in the Ice age about ten million years ago. Today the river is the largest with the most volume of water than anywhere else.The sediment of the river gives the river a characteristically muddy look. The Amazon Rainforest receives about 9 feet of rain annually. The source is off course the snow clad Peruvian Andes. At some places the river is one mile long while at others it is thirty five miles wide. Animals like river otters, river dolphins, turtle, manatees, eelsand off course the dangerous blood thirsty piranha. The canopy of the rainforest consist over 500 mammals, 300 reptilian species, and one third of the population of the bird in the world. The competition for survival here is the way of the natural world. The Harpy eagle here preys on Monkeys. You can also find sloth here. They spent most of their time on top of the tree.The leaf cutter ant are endemic to this region and their size will awe you. They play a major part in the ecosystem of the rainforest.

There are four layers of ecosystem in the Amazon Rainforest starting with the tallest layer. The trees here can be as tall as 200 feet vying for sunlight in the dense forest. The canopy layer have leaves which comes to a point. The water flows off easily and the leaves are devoid of fungi, mosses, and lichens. They filter about 80 percent of the sunlight. Flowers and fruits are quite common in this zone. The plants at the next level have very large trees and are dark green in color to absorb maximum sunlight. The forest floor is the last and the lowest layer. Sometimes not even 2percent of the sunlight filters through the canopy. The roots are close fitted to access nutrients. The overall climate in this rainforest is the same throughout the year. It is warm and humid in here.

The Amazon Rainforest is today a sorry site. 20 percent of the forest has been destroyed.The land is being cleared, and different projects are coming up in the forests. Cattle ranches, mining operation, agriculture are popular activities here. The forests are being burned for its charcoal which will be a rich source of energy for the Industrial plant. If this continues for another 40 years there won’t be any Amozonian Rainforest in the future. It will be a myth which existed but was destroyed for the foolhardiness of humans. This rainforest also shelters different indigenous people who have not come in contact with the outside world. Their main source of livelihood is the Amazonian rainforest. The medicinal plants in the Amazonian basin are found to be source of important drugs like AIDS, Cancer, diabetes, and Arthritis.

Places you can visit in the Amazon Rainforest

Serra do Divisor National Park

This Brazilian National Park shares its border with Peru. It is important for the West Indian Manatee conservation. The place is not much commercialized and you will hardly find any accommodation nearby. The nearest town is City of Cruzeiro do Sul.

Cabo Orange National Park

This park is situated close to the Coastline. The eco system here is a mix of the Amazonian Rainforest and the Atlantic Coastline.

Tumucumaque Mountains National Park

This is the biggest tropical forest protected area of the world. It shares border with both Brazil and French Guiana.

Cantão State Park

Amazon Rain Forest begins here showing the transition between the Cerrado ecosystem and the rainforestIt is accessible from the Tocantins state capital Palmas.