The rainforest. The lung of the earth and the habitat of an unimaginable diversity of species. For various purposes the forest is deforested worldwide, unhindered. And so its threatened inhabitants disappear with him.
Rainforests, which originally occupied a large part of the land area around the equator, now account for only 3% or 4% of the Earth's total land area. Nevertheless, half of all animal species live here – that means the animals we know. One thing is certain: numerous animal species, and at least as many plants, in the rainforest we don't even know yet! It is therefore impossible to say exactly how rich the species really are in tropical forests. All the more serious is the threat to the rainforest and the loss of large areas.
Why do tropical forests provide perfect habitats for so many animal species?
A question that is easy to answer: in tropical forests there is plenty of water, a more or less constant temperature that never really gets too cold, and accordingly a lot of vegetation. For herbivorous animal species, this is a paradise in which they thrive. For predators it is a table richly set. At the same time there are so many biological niches in the earth's rainforests that numerous animal "specialists" have been able to settle here. For example, insects that only inhabit the bark or branch forks of certain trees. Many animal species are so perfectly adapted to their own niche that they can only survive in the rainforest, perhaps only in a very specific area of the rainforest.
A perfect ecosystem
Tropical forests are perfectly balanced ecosystems. They are the green lungs and water reservoirs of the planet. Their preservation is the only way for the animals living in them (and, incidentally, many indigenous people) to maintain their natural way of life. Let's be honest – zoos are not a "natural" environment for animals. Conversely, the animal world is also important for the survival of tropical forests, because the complex biological cycle in the rainforest depends on a large number of insects, birds, scavengers and predators. If only one tiny part is missing, the entire apparatus begins to spin.
Threatened tropical fauna
ALL animal species living there are affected by the deforestation of large areas. We can see in the media how threatened the orangutans on Sumatra and Borneo are and we are aware of the decline in the numbers of large predatory cats in South America. Also the gorillas in Africa – and other primates – are increasingly being pushed back by clearing or end up as "bush meat" on the village market.
The destruction continues
Although attempts have been made since the 1990s to halt the loss of forests, 29,100 square kilometres of rainforest were destroyed in the Brazilian Amazon alone in 2019. Irrecoverable. The consequences for the animal world, the fauna and the native inhabitants of the tropics in Africa, Asia and South America are not yet foreseeable. Countless plant and animal species, which we have not yet got to know, are disappearing.
In addition to this, poaching is also a problem for the species. Animals are hunted as trophies or for the sake of their horns and teeth. Exotic animals sell well in some places as "pets" or for arranged hunting. The trade is lucrative, although only a fraction of the poor "passengers" survive the terrible, because illegal, transports.
We need to take a closer look. We must be aware that everything that is destroyed is irretrievably lost – for us, but even more so for all generations after us. They will have to live without the riches we have wasted, at least as long as they live. Because what many people are not aware of is that we are not saving nature. If human beings have made the earth uninhabitable and extinct at some point, nature will produce new life. Possibly new rainforests. And they are then safe from us!
About NIKIN – and what we do for the forests
We at NIKIN have made it our concern to do something to ensure that the forests of this world continue to provide animals and plants with the habitat they need. That is why we support the work of our partner organisation OneTreePlanted. With every purchase at NIKIN you donate a tree! And so you help with small means that the rainforest does not disappear completely.