The Amazon Rainforest

Amazon Rainforest,
This boat travels on a stream in the Amazon Rainforest in Peru.

On World Wildlife Day, we think about animals that live on Earth. More than half of the animal species in the world live in rainforests! The largest rainforest, the Amazon Rainforest in South America, is almost 3 million square miles. It covers land as big as the 48 states in the United States. Scientists think that 2.5 million kinds of insects live in the Amazon. Thirty million people live in the Amazon region, too.

The Amazon Rainforest is important to people and wildlife everywhere. Why is it so important? People call rainforests “the lungs of the Earth.” Trees take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen. The oxygen from the Amazon is important to all life on Earth.

Rainforests also help maintain the water cycle on Earth. Plants release water to the air. The water helps form rain clouds, and the rain falls back on the forest. Rain is important for all the plants and animals that live there. The rainforest is also a source for medicine and food.

Wonderful wildlife lives in the Amazon rainforest! But the rainforest is important for everyone.

What Do You Think? Imagine a friend says, “The Amazon rainforest is far away. It doesn’t affect me.” What would you say to your friend?

Photo Credit: Aurora Photos/Alamy