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1200 new species found in Amazon rainforest

vinsci (537958) writes | more than 3 years ago

0

vinsci (537958) writes "The vital importance of the Amazon rainforest is well known. As the largest tract of tropical rainforest in the world, the region has unparalleled biodiversity. It harbours one in 10 known species in the world and one in five of all birds. The Amazon rainforest supports the highest diversity of plant species on Earth: depending where you are, you can find from 150 to 900 individual trees per hectare. The Amazon is also home to a diverse array of indigenous communities, and its rich natural resources base provides a source of livelihoods for many both within and outside the region.

However, this treasure trove of our planet has not escaped the gigantic appetite of unsustainable development. At least 17% of the Amazon forest has been destroyed, and much more is severely threatened as the destruction continues. In the words of the respected Amazon ecologist Dan Nepstad, “The Amazon is a canary in a coalmine for the Earth.”

The loss of tropical rainforest has a profound and devastating impact on the world because rainforests are so biologically diverse. The 1,220 new species in this report illustrate the richness of biodiversity found in this the world’s largest rainforest and river basin, and also how much there is still to learn about this incredible biome.

The new species were found over the last 10 years, or about one new species every three days."

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