The rainforests are considered a haven for most of the animal and plant species in the world. However, the living environment of the rainforests might just be a part of history today. It is because the species that found shelter to them are one by one becoming endangered. Some animals and plants are tagged as endangered because people see a potential risk for them to be extinct. There can be two reasons for it: it can be that the number of species is becoming too few or the environmental condition is changing.
The Rainforest Ecosystem
In approximation, over 50 percent of all life on Earth can be found in the rainforests. There are almost 50 million living species that finds shelter there. However, the challenge of climate change of the environment and human colonization of the land, a lot of the species are becoming endangered. Some facts listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources state that 40 percent of the total organisms inhabiting the rainforests are at risk of extinction.
Endangered Rainforest Animals
There are a lot of rainforest animals that are now being tagged as endangered. Some of the wild animals that are a part of the list are:
- Golden Lion Tamarind Monkey. This wild monkey is usually found in the lowland coastal region of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Humans usually hunt them for its fur, a reason why their population had decreased.
- Chimpanzee. The chimpanzees' population is widespread all over the world; however, their number is declining because of human exploitation of habitat loss.
- Gorilla. This ape is classified as critically endangered species already. Almost 80 percent of their population has become extinct over the last three generations. The main reasons for their extinction are human hunting, habitat quality change, and animal diseases.
- Orangutan. The reasons for the decline of their population are habitat destruction and hunting. Their population has declined to about 80 percent in the last 75 years.
- Bengal Tiger. The loss of habitat and poaching are two of the reasons why the Bengal tigers had decreased in population.
Other animals included in the list are the jaguars, toucans, harpy eagles, manatees, bears, and a lot more.
Endangered Rainforest Plants
The environment of the rainforests houses 80 percent of the green flowering plants. Some 2.5 acres of the tropical rainforests contain more than 750 types of trees and 1500 species of higher plants. The loss of each acre to farming, logging, and other types of development, hundreds of plant species may disappear forever. Some plant species classified that are one the list for extinction are:
- Orchids. In the over 25,000 types of orchids, many of them bears the sign of being endangered and extinct already. Habitat destruction and smuggling are two of the reasons behind their extinction.
- Rafflesia Flower. The largest flower, rafflesia is considered as one of the world's rarest and most endangered plants.
Since most of the reasons for the extinction of animals are related to man's actions, most of the environmentalists call is for man to give them enough care. The government already prohibits hunting of the animals and commercialization of the rainforests to better save the life of the species.
Though the hunting and commercialization are already given action, the challenge remains in the climate change. Still, people are doing every necessary action to counteract the effects of the phenomenon. In the end, saving the lives of endangered species lies in the hands of humans.