Trees and their functions are vital for humans and animals. Many trees together form a forest, which serves immediately as food source and habitat. With the spread of human civilization, millions of hectares of forest were forced to disappear. We show you the 10 largest remaining forests.
#10 The Primorye Forest
The smallest of the ten giants is located in the southeast of Russia. With its 130,000 square kilometres, the Primorye forest covers an area equivalent to 18.2 million football fields. It is home to many endangered animal species such as the Siberian tiger. According to today's data, its population is currently only 500 specimens. It is also the only forest in the world where tigers, bears and leopards coexist.
#9 The Burmese tropical rain forest
The Asian Myanmar is home to one of the oldest rainforests in the world. It is located between the Pacific and Indian Oceans, near the equator and is rich in biodiversity due to various environmental conditions that it has experienced to date. It provides habitat for a large number of exotic animal species, such as the Asian elephant, gibbons and Bengal tigers.
Originally this forest was part of a much larger environmental system, but due to the increased deforestation of humans and their industrial use of wood, its size is shrinking more and more. Today, its size (still) amounts to approximately 233'000 square kilometres. If nothing changes soon, the forest will probably disappear from the world map during our lifetime.
#8 The Valdivian Rainforest
One of the youngest and largest forests in the world extends over the two countries Chile and Argentina. Only 17,000 years ago, this landscape was still covered by perpetual ice. The animals living here are comparatively small in size. For example, the smallest deer species, Pudu, and the smallest wild cat, Kodkod, live in this region.
Unfortunately, only a small part of this forest is protected and therefore endangered by progressive deforestation.
#7 The tropical rainforest on Borneo
The oldest tropical rainforest in the world is located on Borneo and has existed for around 140 million years. In addition to the more than 10,000 different plant species, it is also home to rare animal species such as the Sumatran Rhinoceros, whose population is estimated at just 250 animals worldwide.
Borneo's best-known animal, the Borneo orangutan, is also on the list of endangered animals in the column endangered. To a large extent this is due to the still increasing deforestation for industrial goods like palm oil.
In order to ensure the preservation of this biodiversity, NIKIN is planting trees here too, among others in cooperation with Borneo Orang-Utan Survival (BOS Schweiz). At the moment, the size of the forest is about 290'000 square kilometres, but if nothing changes soon, the area will shrink faster than one would like.
#6 The tropical rain forest of New Guinea
One of the most extraordinary rainforests in the world lies in New Guinea. In addition to the various plants and animals, more than 1,000 indigenous peoples live in this forest. Furthermore, a large part of the forest is still unexplored and is therefore a hotspot for researchers from all over the world. The fact that 5-10% of all animal species on earth live here makes it all the more interesting for researchers and it is therefore not surprising that large parts of the 545,000 square kilometres of forest are under protection.
#5 The tropical rainforest in Congo
In contrast to the Valdivian rainforest, there is a variety of rather large animals living here, including gorillas, hippopotamus and the African elephant, which is the largest animal living in the country. As in the rainforest of New Guinea, some shoots and indigenous people still live in harmony with nature. Although it is currently one of the forests least affected by deforestation, there is a great danger of deforestation due to its wealth of resources. It is currently around 1,780,000 square kilometres in size, making it the second largest rainforest in the world.
#4, #3, #2 The Taiga
Once the Taiga stretched from Canada over Norway to Siberia. However, due to natural changes and continental shifts, the forest split into three separate parts. However, since it is basically one and the same system, numbers 4, 3 and 2 are combined here.
The Taiga is known for its enormous variety of fir trees, but due to its geographical location, biodiversity is not broad here. In winter temperatures can drop to -40°C or lower.
But even in this actually hostile area there live various animal species like bears, wolves, foxes and beavers. At the moment, the size of the forest is about 290'000 square meters. Despite its one-sidedness with regard to tree species, the Taiga absorbs more CO2 from the atmosphere than the tropical and temperate forests together. For this reason, targeted protection of these forests is essential, but currently unfortunately only very poorly guaranteed.
The largest part of the Taiga is covered by the Canadian Boreal Forest with about 4'200'000 square kilometres, the East Siberian Taiga covers an area of about 3'900'000 square kilometres and also the smallest part, has a proud surface of more than 2'156'000 square kilometres. In total, the Taiga covers about 30% of the world's forest resources.
#1 The Amazon
Undisputed number 1 is probably the most famous forest on earth, the South American Amazon. The forest of all forests is not only the largest in area, with its incredible 5,500,000 square kilometres, but is also home to one in ten species existing on earth. It is the most diverse forest and has the largest range of plants and animals in the world. An estimated 290 trillion trees grow in the Amazon. Animals like jaguars, spider monkeys, toucans, sloths and thousands of other species are among its inhabitants. It is an impressive 55 million years old forest, but with human influence the Amazon has already lost 20% of its original population. That's about 800'000 square kilometres, which is the equivalent of the Primorye Forest, the Burmese Rainforest and the Valdivian Rainforest (numbers 10, 9 and 8) together! An incredible 90% of this was cleared for the cattle breeding industry.
A life without forests is impossible and therefore it is up to us to do something against global deforestation. Even small steps can make a big difference. Donate a tree via OneTreePlanted, or plant it yourself and make the earth a greener and more beautiful place.