Learning about Rainforests

WHERE ARE THE RAINFORESTS

The map below shows the location of the world's tropical rainforests.   Rainforests cover only a small part of the earth's surface - about 6%, yet they are home to over half the species of plants and animals in the world. 

Click on the dark green areas to read about the its unique rainforests.

Central AmericaAustraliaAsiaSouthern AsiaAfricaAmazonThe dark green areas are where the Rainforests are located

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CENTRAL AMERICA

This region was once entirely covered with rainforest, but large areas have been cleared for cattle ranching and for sugar cane plantations. 

Like other major rainforests, the jungles and mangrove swamps of Central America contain many plants and animals found nowhere else.  Central America is famous for its large number of tropical birds, including many kinds of parrots.

Rainforests of Central America

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THE AMAZON

The Amazon jungle is the world's largest tropical rainforest.  The forest covers the basin of the Amazon, the world's second longest river.

The Amazon is home to the greatest variety of plants and animals on Earth.  A 1/5 of all the world's plants and birds and about 1/10 of all mammal species are found there.

The Amazon Jungle

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AFRICA

Central Africa holds the world's second largest rainforest.  To the south east, the large island of Madagascar was once intensively forested, but now much of it is gone.

Cloud Rainforest in Africa

Africa contains areas of high cloud forest, mangrove swamps and flooded forests.  The island of Madagascar is home to many unique plants and animals not found anywhere else.

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SOUTHERN ASIA

The rainforests of Asia stretch from India and Burma in the west to Malaysia and the islands of Java and Borneo in the east.  Bangladesh has the largest area of mangrove forests in the world.

In Southeast Asia the climate is hot and humid all year round. In the mainland Asia it has a subtropical climate with torrential monsoon rains followed by a drier period.

A mangrove forest in Southern Asia

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AUSTRALASIA

Undergrowth Rainforest in Australia

Millions of years ago, Australia, New Zealand and the island of New Guinea formed part of a great forested southern continent, isolated from the rest of the world.   Today these countries contain many different species of animal that occur nowhere else.

Undergrowth in Australia's tropical forests is dense and lush.  The forests lie in the path of wet winds blowing in from the Pacific.

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