You’ve probably learned before that our rainforests need to be protected…but have you thought about why they’re so important?
Rainforests only make up about 6% of the earth’s land.1 However, they play an integral role in keeping our planet healthy and providing us with necessary resources for survival. For example, rainforests are home to over 30 million species of plants and animals. They’re also home to about a quarter of the plants we get our modern medicine from.2
Rainforests both absorb an immense amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and regulate our water cycle.1&2 The water they store is then released through transpiration, which creates clouds. This becomes rainfall in other regions and continents in the world. They also provide the water for our lakes and rivers and prevent worldwide drought that would then affect our food supply. In addition, they also prevent erosion.2
Loss of habitat is a major threat to species throughout the world, and agriculture is responsible for 80% of deforestation.3 When rainforests are destroyed, all of that carbon dioxide they were storing is released into the air. This causes a bigger release of carbon than all the cars, planes, and ships in the world combined.1
So what can be done?
Both protecting rainforest habitats and ensuring responsible harvesting of materials help keep rainforests and the species within them safe. This looks like limiting the harvesting of timber, protecting older forests, planting native trees, and using alternatives to pesticides on farming land.3
It’s important to protect our habitats because not only do they contribute to keeping our planet healthy – such as through carbon sequestration, erosion, and water regulation – but they provide integral habitats for all kinds of species.
When these are at risk, so are the efficiency and biodiversity of our ecosystems. In the wild, everything works together for an efficient process that is in balance. When things are out of balance, then environments are not as productive as they should be. This puts species and the health of ecosystems at risk.
We want to ensure we have a future where all of our wildlife is taken care of. We strive to do that by providing resources to you every week in your inbox and on our website. We also develop in-person programming to bring more wildlife lovers into the fold.
Help us increase our outreach efforts by donating to the Wolf Center today.
Your support helps us every step of the way as we give a voice to our nation’s carnivores and other wildlife.
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