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The Amazon Rainforest
The Amazon Rainforest
Click on the different groups of birds to learn more about this incredible place.
The Amazon represents over half of the planet's remaining rainforests and comprises the largest and most biodiverse tract of tropical rainforest in the world, with an estimated 390 billion individual trees divided into 16,000 species.
One in ten known species in the world lives in the Amazon rainforest. This constitutes the largest collection of living plants and animal species in the world.
The region is home to about 2.5 million insect species,tens of thousands of plants, and some 2,000 birds and mammals. One in five of all bird species are found in the Amazon rainforest, and one in five of the fish species live in Amazonian rivers and streams. Scientists have described between 96,660 and 128,843 invertebrate species in Brazil alone.
The Amazon Rainforest, also known in English as Amazonia or the Amazon Jungle, is a moist broadleaf forest in the Amazon biome that covers most of the Amazon basin of South America. This basin encompasses 7,000,000 km2 (2,700,000 sq mi), of which 5,500,000 km2 (2,100,000 sq mi) are covered by the rainforest. This region includes territory belonging to nine nations.
The majority of the forest is contained within Brazil, with 60% of the rainforest, followed by Peru with 13%, Colombia with 10%, and with minor amounts in Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana.
More than 56% of the dust fertilizing the Amazon rainforest comes from the Bodélé depression in Northern Chad in the Sahara desert. The dust contains phosphorus, important for plant growth. The yearly Sahara dust replaces the equivalent amount of phosphorus washed away yearly in Amazon soil from rains and floods.
NASA's CALIPSO satellite has measured the amount of dust transported by wind from the Sahara to the Amazon: an average 182 million tons of dust are windblown out of the Sahara each year, across 1,600 miles (2,600 km) over the Atlantic Ocean. (Of course, some dust falls into the Atlantic).