Tropical Rainforests Of The World

In this term paper, I will explain the great importance of the tropical
Rainforests around the world and discuss the effects of the tragedy of
rainforest destruction and the effect that it is having on the earth. I will
talk about the efforts being made to help curb the rate of rainforest
destruction and the peoples of the rainforest, and I will explore a new topic in
the fight to save the rainforest, habitat fragmentation. Another topic being
discussed is the many different types of rainforest species and their uniqueness
from the rest of the world. First, I will discuss the many species of rare and
exotic animals, Native to the Rainforest. Tropical Rainforests are home to many
of the strangest looking and most beautiful, largest and smallest, most
dangerous and least frightening, loudest and quietest animals on earth. There
are many types of animals that make their homes in the rainforest some of them
include: jaguars, toucans, parrots, gorillas, and tarantulas. There are so many
fascinating animals in tropical rainforest that millions have not even
identified yet. In fact, about half of the worlds species have not even been
identified yet. But sadly, an average of 35 species of rainforest animals are
becoming extinct every day. So many species of animals live in the rainforest
than any other parts of the world because rainforests are believed to be the
oldest ecosystem on earth. Some forests in southeast Asia have been around for
at least 100 million years, ever since the dinosaurs have roamed the earth.

During the ice ages, the last of which occurred about 10,000 years ago, the
frozen areas of the North and South Poles spread over much of the earth, causing
huge numbers of extinctions. But the giant freeze did not reach many tropical
rainforests. Therefore, these plants and animals could continue to evolve,
developing into the most diverse and complex ecosystems on earth. The nearly
perfect conditions for life also help contribute to the great number of species.

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With temperatures constant at about 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit the whole year, the
animals dont have to worry about freezing during the cold winters or finding
hot shade in the summers. They rarely have to search for water, as rain falls
almost every day in tropical rainforests. Some rainforest species have
populations that number in the millions. Other species consist of only a few
dozen individuals. Living in limited areas, most of these species are found
nowhere else on earth. For example, the maues marmoset, a species of monkey,
wasnt discovered until recently. Its entire tiny population lives within a
few square miles in the Amazon rainforest. This species of monkey is so small
that it could fit into a persons hand! In a rainforest, it is difficult to see
many things other than the millions of insects creeping and crawling around in
every layer of the forest. Scientists estimate that there are more than 50
million different species of invertebrates living in rainforests. A biologist
researching the rainforest found 50 different of ants on a single tree in Peru!
A few hours of poking around in a rainforest would produce several insects
unknown to science. The constant search for food , water, sunlight and space is
a 24-hour pushing and shoving match. With this fierce competition, it is amazing
that that so many species of animals can all live together. But this is actually
the cause of the huge number of the different species. The main secret lies in
the ability of many animals to adapt to eating a specific plant or animal, which
few other species are able to eat. An example of such adaptations would be the
big beaks of the toucans and parrots. Their beaks give them a great advantage
over other birds with smaller beaks. The fruits and nuts from many trees have
evolved with a tough shell to protect them from predators. In turn toucans and
parrots developed large, strong beaks, which serves as a nutcracker and provides
them with many tasty meals. Many animal species have developed relationships
with each other that benefit both species. Birds and mammal species love to eat
the tasty fruits provided by trees. Even fish living in the Amazon River rely on
the fruits dropped from forest trees. In turn, the fruit trees depend upon these
animals to eat their fruit, which helps them to spread their seeds to far – off
parts of the forest. In some cases both species are so dependent upon each other
that if one becomes extinct, the other will as well. This nearly happened with
trees that relied on the now extinct dodo birds. They once roamed Mauritius, a
tropical island located in the Indian Ocean. They became extinct during the late
19th century when humans overhunted them. The calvaria tree stopped sprouting
seeds soon after. Scientists finally concluded that, for the seeds of the
calvaria tree to sprout, they needed to be digested by the dodo bird. By force
feeding the seeds to a domestic turkey, who digested the seeds the same way as
the dodo bird, the trees were saved. Unfortunately, humans will not be able to
save each species in this same way. Each species has evolved with its own set of
unique adaptations, ways of helping them to survive. Every animal has the
ability to protect itself from being someones next meal. To prevent the
extinction of a species each and every species must develop a defense tactic.

The following are just a few of Mother Natures tricks. CAMOFLAGE The
coloring of some animals acts as protection from their predators. Insects play
some of the best hide-and-go-seek in the forest. The walking stick is one
such insect; it blends in so well with the palm tree it calls its home that no
one would notice unless its moved. Some butterflies, when they close their
wings, look exactly like leaves. Camouflage also works in reverse, helping
predators, such as boa constrictors, sneak up on unsuspecting animals and
surprise them. SLOW AS A SNAIL The tree-toed sloth is born with brown fur,
but you would never know this by looking at it. The green algae that makes its
home in the sloths fur helps it to blend in with the tops of the trees, the
canopy, where it makes its home. But even green algae isn’t the only thing
living in a sloths fur; it is literally bugged with a variety of
insects. 978 beetles were once found living on one sloth. The sloth has other
clever adaptations. Famous for its snail-like pace; it is one of the slowest
moving animals on earth. It is so slow that it often takes up to a month to
digest its food. Although its tasty meat would make a good meal for jaguars
and other predators, most do not notice the sloth as it hangs in the trees, high
up in the canopy. DEADLY CREATURES Other animals dont want to announce
their presence to the whole forest. Armed with dangerous poisons used in life
threatening situations, their bright colors warn predators to stay away. This
enables them to survive everyday emergency situations. The coral snake of the
Amazon, with its brilliant red, yellow, and black coloring, is recognized as one
of the most beautiful snakes in the world, but it is just as deadly as it is
beautiful. The coral snakes deadly poison can kill in seconds. Other animals
know to stay away from it. The poison arrow frog also stands out with its
brightly colored skin. It’s skin produces some of the strongest natural poison
in the world, which indigenous people often use for hunting purposes. It’s
poison is now being tested for use in modern medicine. In a single raiforest
habitat, several species of squirels can live together without harming one
another. This bewilders many people, Louise Emmons found. Why can nine species
of squirrels live together? Well, in a brief summary each of the nine species is
a different size; three have specialized diets or habitats, which leaves six
species that feed on nuts, fruits and insects, and so potentially compete for
food. A closer look showed that three of the six, a large, a medium, and a small
one live in the forest canopy and never come to the ground. The largest squirrel
feeds mainly on very large, hard nuts, and the smaller ones eat smaller fruits
and nuts. The other three species, again a large medium and small one live in
the ground and eat fruits and nuts of the same species as their canopy
neighbors, but only after they fall to the ground. Tropical rainforests are
bursting with life. Not only do millions of species of plants and animals live
in rainforests, but many people also call the rainforest their home. In fact,
Indigenous, or native, people have lived in rainforests for thousands of years.

In North and South America they were mistakenly named Indians by Christopher
Columbus, who thought that he had landed in Indonesia, then called the East
Indies. The native people of the rainforest live very different lives than us.

In this section, I will explain how very different our lives differ than from
the indigenous people of the rainforest. Although many indigenous people live
very much like we do, some still live as their ancestors did many years before
them. These groups organize their daily lives differently than our culture.

Everything they need to survive, from food to medicines to clothing, comes from
the forest. FOOD Besides haunting, gathering wild fruits and nuts and
fishing, Indigenous people also plant small gardens for other sources of food,
using a sustainable farming method called shifting cultivating. First they clear
a small area of land and burn it. Then they plant many types of plants, to be
used for food and medicines. After a few years, the soil has become too poor to
allow for more crops to grow and weeds to start to take over. So they then move
to a nearby uncleared area. This land is traditionally allowed to regrow 10-50
years before it is farmed again. Shifting cultivation is still practiced by
those tribes who have access to a large amount of land. However, with the
growing number of non-Indigenous farmers and the shrinking rainforest, other
tribes, especially in Indonesia and Africa, are now forced to remain in one
area. The land becomes a wasteland after a few years of overuse, and cannot be
used for future agriculture. EDUCATION Most tribal children dont go to
schools like ours. Instead, they learn about the forest around them from their
parents and other people in the tribe. They are taught how to survive in the
forest. They learn how to hunt and fish, and which plants are useful as
medicines or food. Some of these children know more about rainforests than
scientists who have studied rainforests for many years. The group of societies
known as Europeans includes such cultures such as Spanish and German. Similarly,
the broad group, Indigenous peoples includes many distinct culture groups, each
with its own traditions. For instance, plantains (a type of banana) are a major
food source for the Yanonami from the Amazon while the Penan of Borneo,
Southeast Asia, depend on the sago palm (a type of palm tree) for food and other
uses. All Indigenous people share their strong ties to the land. Because the
rainforest is so important for their culture, they want to take care of it. They
want to live what is called a sustainable existence, meaning they use the land
without doing harm to the plants and animals that also call the rainforest their
home. As a wise Indigenous man once said, The earth is our historian, our
educator, the provider of food, medicine, clothing and protection. She is the
mother of our races.(11) Indigenous peoples have been losing their lives and
the land they live on ever since Europeans began colonizing 500 years ago. Most
of them died from common European diseases which made Indigenous people very
sick because they had never had these diseases before. A disease such as the flu
could possibly kill an indigenous person because he/she has not been exposed to
this disease before. Many Indigenous groups have also been killed by settlers
wanting their land, or put to work as slaves to harvest the resources of the
forest. Others were converts to Christianity by missionaries, who forced them to
live like Europeans and give up their cultural traditions. Until about forty
years ago, the lack of roads prevented most outsiders from exploiting the
rainforest. These roads, constructed for timber and oil companies, cattle
ranchers and miners, have destroyed millions of acres each year. All of the
practices force Indigenous people off their land. Because they do not officially
own it, governments and other outsiders do not recognize their rights to the
land. They have no other choice but to move to different areas, sometimes even
to the crowded cities. They often live in poverty because they have no skills
useful for a city lifestyle and little knowledge about the culture. For example,
they know more about gathering food from the forest than buying food from a
store. Its like being forced to move to a different country, where you knew
nothing about the culture or language. Indigenous groups are beginning to fight
for their land, most often through peaceful demonstrations. Such actions may
cause them to be arrested or even to lose their lives, but they know that if
they take no action, their land and culture could be lost forever. Kaypo
Indians, for example, recently spoke to the United States Congress to protest
the building of dams in the Amazon, and were arrested when they arrived back in
Brazil, accused of being traitors to their own country. In Malaysia, the Penean
have arrested for blocking logging roads. Many people living outside of
rainforests went to help protect the Indigenous peoples culture. They
understand that Indigenous people have much to teach us about rainforests. Since
we (the US and other countries) have been working with the Indigenous People and
other rainforest protection agencies, we have learned many things about the
forest, including its ecology, medicinal plants, food and other products. It
has also showed us how crucial it is for the Indigenous people of the rainforest
to continue their daily and traditional activities because of their importance
in the cycle if the rainforest. It has shown us that they have the right to
practice their own lifestyle, and live upon the land where there ancestors have
lived before them. (2) One such example of a invasion of the Ingenious
peoples privacy is a new so called emergency called the Cofan
Emergency. This dispute is about an Indigenous tribe called the Cofan.

Historically, the Cofan occupied some half a million acres of rainforest along
the Aguarico River in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Because their traditional territory
has been significantly reduced through invasions by oil companies such as
Texaco, the Cofan now live in five small, discontinuous communities. However,
they still utilize and protect a region of about 250,000 acres, including two
reserves in the Amazon. In addition to displacing the Cofan and other indigenous
groups, oil development, which began in this region over thirty years ago, has
also caused serious environmental destruction. The deforestation of some two
million acres of rainforest and contamination of the regions waterways has
resulted in the loss of plant and animal diversity, and drastically affected the
social and economic well-being of local Indigenous peoples. This devastation
continues. Last year, ten new concessions were licensed to international oil
companies in the Ecuadorian Amazon, opening an additional five million acres of
forest to oil development. One of these oil blocks, Block 11 awarded to the
US-based Santa Fe Energy, lies within Cofan territory and will directly affect
at least three communities. In order to protect the remaining intact rainforest
areas of their homeland and the adjacent ecological reserves, the Cofan are
seeking $5,000 to purchase an outboard motor and a video camera, in order to
coordinate between disperse communities and document the destruction caused by
oil development. Cofan leaders plan to work with their communities and document
the destruction caused by oil development. Also they planned to work with their
communities to organize against further environmental destruction by the oil
companies. This grant will also cover for legal costs to demarcate the Cofan
community lands. In the next section of this term paper, I will be discussing a
subject relating to the rainforest called habitat fragmentation. Fragmentation
of a habitat, by its very nature, reduces the total amount of area of the
original habitat type. Two researchers, Ann Keller and John Anderson suggest
that the absolute habitat loss of pristine habitat and the reduced density of
resources associated with fragmentation potentially impacts the biota (the plant
and animal life of a region) more than any single factor. Habitat fragmentation
affects the flora and fauna (plants and animals) of a given ecosystem by
replacing a naturally occurring ecosystem with a human-dominated landscape which
may be inhospitable to a certain number of the original species. However, in
direct contrast to the ocean as a geographic barrier, the human landscape matrix
is typically accessible to plants and animals, in that they are able to easily
disperse across it, if not reside in it. On the other hand, the human landscape
may directly contribute to the extinction of species by slanting the ecosystem
balance of species which are highly adaptable to changing conditions. For
example, the increased amount of human-dominated landscape allows certain
species to grow phenomenally, which can result in harm to species which rely
exclusively on very scarce areas . A commonly referred to example of this is a
bird called the brown-headed cowbird. This bird is best characterized as a
nest parasite because it because it replaces the eggs of another species
with eggs of their own , allowing the other species to incubate and raise their
young. Their increased numbers have had negative effects on the reproductive
successfulness of many forest-dwelling birds. In addition to titling the
ecosystem balance in favor of species which are highly adaptable, the loss of
habitat associated with habitat fragmentation may simply cause the other, less
adaptable species rates to decline. A man named James Saunders documents one
remarkable example of how changing large expansive areas of the birds of the
wheatbelt of western Australlia as a result of fragmentation. He showed that 41%
of the birds native to the region have decreased in range or abundance since the
1900s and indicated that almost all of these changes resulted directly from
habitat fragmentation and the decline in abundance of native vegetation.

Although some species have increased in abundance, he noted that many more
species have been adversely affected than have benefited. Importantly, the
species that typically increase in abundance or range when habit fragmentation
occurs are those which are adapted for being adaptable. In other words, their
resource needs can be met by a variety of conditions, and thus often by human
activities by reducing their competition with other species. Because of this,
these species which benefit by human activities are not the ones we need to
manage for and protect. Instead, we need to protect those species which are
adapted solely for survival in the rapidly disappearing unfragmented habitat.

Besides physically changing a part of the original habitat, decreasing the size
of the original habitat can reduce the biological diversity of an area in
several ways. Reducing biodiversity of an area may occur if habitat fragments
are smaller than the home range of the animal with the largest home range that
existed within the intact ecosystem. Many birds have large home ranges because
they require patchily distributed resources. For example, one breeding pair of
ivory billed woodpeckers require five to six square miles of undisturbed
contiguous bottomland forest, and a single European goshawk requires twenty to
forty-five miles for his home range. If a habitat fragment exists that is
smaller than the minimum area required by a given species, individuals of that
species will not likely be found within that habitat fragment. For example, the
Louisiana waterthrush is rarely found in small woodlots because they require
open water within their home range, and most small woodlots do not have
year-round streams or ponds. If a species requires two or more habitat types,
they are often susceptible to local extinction due to habitat fragmentation,
because often they are unable to freely move between the different habitat
types. The blue-grey gnathatcher moves from decidous woodland to chapparral (a
warm area) during the breeding season, and if one of the two habitat types can
not be readily accesed, they are very susceptable to local extinction. Loss of
any species from a community may have secondary effects that revrberate
throughout the ecosystem. For example, loss of a top predator from an area
because the fragment is too small can cause numbers of small omnivores to
increase, which in turn may cause excessive predation pressureon songbird eggs
and hatchlings, ultimately resulting in reproductive sucess. Tropical
communities are oftem more susceptable to loss of biological diversity than
temperate communuities, because tropical species typically are found in lower
densities, are less widely distributed, and often have weaker dispersal
capabilities. Many tropical species have evolved in that they have changed their
roles that they play in the rainforest. An example of this occurance is the
cassowary, an Austrailan rainforest frugivore, (or an animal that primarily
feeds on fruit) is extremely susceptable to local extinction by habitat
fragmentation because its habitat requirement of large coniguous rainforest
areas is compounded by its unique plant-seed despersal evolvment. This large,
flightless bird wanders nomadically in search of very large seeds, many of which
need to be digested before they will germanate. Youlll rember that earlier
another example of this situation in which the dodo bird became extinct. The
dodo bird digested seeds of the calvaria tree. But when the dodo bird became
extinct due to overhunting by humans, the calvaria tree, which made the seeds to
be digested by the dodo bird to sprout its plants started not to sprout
seeds. In the Rainforests, their are many such instances like this. But
unfortunately, many of them go unnoticed and thus, each day many of the
rainforest plants and animals go extinct. Besides being home to extinction-prone
species, tropical communities are prone to destruction and fragmentation because
of their physical location, overlapping with the geographical birders of the
third world nations. In these nations, citizens often rely on the revenues
raised from rainforest timber or cattle raised on cleared land for survival.

This constant pressure on rainforest communities leads to excessive habitat
fragmentation. Small isolated fragments result, leading to an altered ecosystem
balance. On the tropical island of Java, where almost all of the original
habitat remaining exists in reserves, a group of ecologists have assessed the
status of all of the birds of prey found in the rainforest habitat. Nearly all
the raptors were extremely rare outside the reserves, as expected. They also
found that the larger the reserve was, the denser the birds populations were
within the reserve. Interestingly, a scientist named Lovejoy (I couldnt find
his first name) in 1986 found a similar phenomena with Amazonian birds in the
Biological Dynamics of forest project (BDFF) in Brazil. The primary goal of the
project is to discover how rainforest communities respond after an intact
ecosystem is split into different size fragments. They found a crowding effect,
in which the abundance of birds in a forest fragment increased significantly
directly after deforestation of the adjacent area. The increased number of birds
was attributed to the migration of birds from the newly clear-cut area to the
forest fragment. This crowding effect decreased with increasing size of a forest
fragment. Both tropical and temperate communities, however, are prone to the
same problems of inbreeding and loss of genetic variability, which results from
isolating subpopulations of plants and animals from each other due to habitat
fragmentation. If too large a distance exists between two fragments and a
species are unable to disperse across the area in between, the population is
essentially divided. Inbreeding may result if the subpopulation in a given
fragment is small. This has not been directly documented, but it is possible.

Size of a fragment and the amount of edge are inextricably linked. Abrupt edges
often results form fragmenting and ecosystem, in contrast to the more gradual
natural ecotones. Edge positively impacts many species of plants and animals,
but as mentioned previously, the species which benefit typically are those which
do not require human protection and management because they can easily meet
their resource need outside of the intact ecosystem. The scientists from the
BDFF project point out one exception. Tamarins and marmosets, both species in
need of protection , flourish in small tropical rainforest reserves because of
the luxurian growth of early successional plant species, and the lack of large
predators which are unable to exist in the smaller reserves. Certainly , a
system of only small reserves would not suffice to protect the genetic heritage
of biological diversity in the tropical rainforest, but a heterogeneous mosaic
of large and small reserves may provide the best alternative. Although edge has
typically been associated with an increase in species richness, researchers are
increasingly documenting how edge effects negatively impact the native plants
and animals. The BDFF researchers pointed out that although the number of
species may be higher in edge that the adjacent interior habitat, species
diversity is usually not. Diversity takes into account not only raw number of
species, but the relative abundance of the species present. Another potentially
adverse effect of edge is that it inherently reduces the size of the habitat
interior because of the many physical changes which occur where and edge is
compared to a human dominated area. Most documented cases of edge effects are
from forest edges, so I will focus on them. In addition to the luxuriant growth
of shade-intolerant vegetation at a forest edge in response to the increase in
available light, a seed rain bombards the forest interior, often from
introduced exotics. The increased exposure to wind causes a higher rate of
treefalls and tree mortality, and temperature and humidity are quite different
at the edge than in the forest interior. These physical changes affect the
plants and animals of the habitat. Lovejoy and others, in the BDFF project in
Brazil, found that the understory birds tend to avoid artificial edges. They
found 38% fewer birds 10 meters from clearing than 50 meters into the forest,
and 60% fewer birds 10 meters from a clearing than 1 km into undisturbed forest.

An interesting item is that they did not find a lower abundance of birds around
natural edges, such as interior treefall gaps. Several authors that I have read
have suggested that the abundance of birds decreases near an artificial edge due
to decreased Nest success. Nest success near edge decreased because of the
increase in generalist predators and brood parasites. As mentioned earlier,
populations of brown-headed cowbirds, a brood parasite, have increased
tremendously as a direct result of human activity, these birds have a negative
impact on the nesting success of forest songbirds that nest near the forest
edge. Studies show that while vegetational changes may extend from 300-600
meters into a fragment. This makes sense when one considers that although
generalist predators such as raccoons, cowbirds, and chipmunks may concentrate
their activity near the edge, they certainly also can frequent the forest
interior, often to the damage of those species which rely exclusively on forest
interior. To reduce how far edge effects penetrate into a natural habitat, a
biologist Bernard Harris, proposed a system of long-rotation islands, in which
and old-growth center is surrounded by various age stands of timber. This system
provides some edge for those species which benefit from it, while minimizing the
amount of edge between the old-growth center stand and the surrounding stands.

Now, to the final section of this term paper, the role that environmentalists
play and some of the reasons that they are trying to save it. Rainforests cover
less that two percent of the Earths surface, yet they are home to some 40 to
50 percent of all life forms on our planet, as many as 30 million species of
plants, animals, and insects. The Rainforests are quite simply, the richest,
oldest, most productive, and most complex ecosystems on Earth. As biologist
Norman Meyers notes, Rainforests are the finest celebration of nature as ever
known on the planet, and never before has natures greatest orchestration been
so threatned.(4) His quote is quite true. The following facts listed are
direct proof of how the Tropical Rainforests are being depleted. Global Rates of
Destruction 2.4 acres per second: equivalent to two U.S. football fields 149
acres per minute 214,000 acres per day: an area larger than New York City 78
million acres per year: an area larger than Poland In Brazil 5.4 million acres
per year 6-9 million indigenous people inhabited the Brazilian rainforest in
1500. In 1992, less than 200,000 Species Extinction Distinguished scientists
estimate and average of 137 species of life forms are driven into extinction
every day or 50,000 each year. While you were reading the above statistics,
approximately 90 acres of rainforest were destroyed. Within the next hour
approximately six species will become extinct. While extinction is a natural
process, the alarming rate of extinction today, comparable only to the
extinction of the dinosaurs, is specifically human-induced and unpreceeded.

Experts agree that the number one cause of extinction is habitat destruction.

Quite simply, when habitat is reduced, species disappear. In the Rainforests,
logging, cattle ranching, mining, oil extraction, and hydroelectric dams all
contribute to rainforest destruction and produce many undesired effects in the
environment such as global warming, depletion of the ozone layer, and depletion
of the earths natural resources. But now, there may be some help for the
rainforest. Until recently, few vacationers would even dream of visiting a
rainforest. But travelers are now abandoning the traditional beach vacation to
visit remote, unspoiled areas all over the world. They try to avoid the fast
pace and congestion of the traditional tourist centers, opting instead for more
adventure, stimulation and a desire to learn while on vacation. This growing
trend of travel has come to be known as ecotourism. Though there are many
definitions of ecotourism, the term is most commonly used to describe any
recreation in natural surroundings. The Ecotourism Society adds social
responsibilities to define ecotourism as purposeful travel to natural areas
to understand the culture and natural history of the environment, taking care
not to alter the integrity of the ecosystem, while producing economic
opportunities that make the conservation of natural resources beneficial to
local people(5) However defined, ecotourism is a force shaping the use of the
tropical Rainforests. This will be even more true in the future due to
ecotourisms rapid growth. Global tourism is one of the largest industry in
the world and ecotourism is the fastest growing segment of the industry. Tourism
is largely responsible for saving the gorillas of Rwanda from extinction. The
gorilla was threatened by both poachers and local farmer, whose land clearing
practices were destroying the gorillas natural habitat. Rwandas Parc des
Volcans, created by Dian Fossey as a wildlife preserve, has become an
international attraction and the third largest source of foreign exchange for
Rwanda. Revenues from the $170-a-day fee that visitors will pay to enter the
park have allowed the government to create anti-poaching patrols and employ
local farmers as park guides and guards. Even this success is danger from the
civil war that is encroaching and endangering both the forest and tourist
industry. If ecotourism is going to be influential in saving Rainforests, income
from tourism must reach the people who will ultimately decide the forests
future. Unfortunately, too often the money generated does not benefit these
people. Instead, it goes to developed countries, where the tourists originated,
giving little economic protection to the forests. Profits leak back to the
developed nations through tour operators, plane tickets, foreign owned
accommodations and use of non-local supplies. The World Bank estimates that
worldwide only 45 percent of tourisms revenue reaches the host country. In
less developed areas, the percentage is often lower. One study of the popular
ecotourism destination of the Annapurna region of Nepal found that only 10 cents
of every dollar spent stayed on the local economy. Within the country, the money
may end up in the large cities of in the hands of the wealthy elite. Tourist
dollars should help to acquire and improve management of conservation areas on
which the tourism is based, but money from tourism does not often end up with
the agencies that manage these areas. In Costa Rica, the park service does not
earn enough money from its entrance fees to manage and protect its numerous
parks. Only 25% of its budget comes from fees; the other three quarters must
come from donations. Tourists often resent paying large sums of money on
entrance fees. Although these fees are only a small portion of the money spent
on a trip they can be the most important dollars spent in protecting the
resource because they go directly toward protecting the site. The
environmentalists and government officials play a vital part in the protection
of the Rainforests. Without them, all of the Rainforests would probably be gone.

(4) In conclusion, the Rainforests, the lungs of the earth will be gone in just
a few years if the current rates of destruction continue. But luckily, there are
environmentalists there to protect the rainforest and potentially protecting our
lives. I say protecting our lives because in the past 100 years the earths
temperature has risen one degree Fahrenheit. This may sound small and
insignificant but it is very serious. Combined with global pollution from cars,
factories, etc. the depletion of the Rainforest has caused the level of the
earths air quality to lower, more arctic icebergs to melt causing water
levels to rise around the world causing more erosion and nameless other effects.

If within 20 years, more is not being done estimates the rainforest action
network, our earth will begin to change into a hot planet, flaming with CO2,
with clouds made up of sulfuric acid, much like the planet Venus. (11) These
factors, in the advanced stage of Global Warming are what the earth is coming to
if something is not being done soon about the destruction of the tropical
Rainforests and various other types of pollution. The earth will become a death
trap for the human race unless we act now!


I'm William!

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