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Amazon Rainforest

2022 MAR 10

Preliminary   > Geography   >   Biogeography   >   Biogeography

Why in news?

  • More than 75 per cent of the Amazon rainforest has been likely heading towards a tipping point since the early 2000s, according to a new study.
  • According to reports, deforestation is on the rise in January 2022, five times higher than the same month last year.

About Amazon Rainforest:

  • Amazon rainforest is a moist broadleaf tropical rainforest, located in Amazon biome. It covers about 80% of the Amazon basin in South America.
  • This region includes territories of nine nations. Majority of the forest (60%) is in Brazil. It is followed by Peru (13%) and Colombia (10%).
  • Minor forests are in Bolivia, Guyana, Ecuador, Suriname, French Guiana, and Venezuela. Amazon represents more than half of Earth’s remaining rainforests.
  • The Amazon’s rainforest is home to 30 per cent of the world’s species, comprising 40,000 plant species, 16,000 tree species, 1,300 birds and more than 430 species of mammals.
  • They are very wet places, receiving more than 200 cm rainfall per year, either seasonally or throughout the year.
  • Temperatures are uniformly high - between 20°C and 35°C.

Deforestation of Amazon:

  • Main causes of deforestation in the Amazon are human settlement and development of the land. In 2018, 17% of the rainforest was already destroyed.
  • Cattle Ranching:
    • One of the leading causes of deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest is linked to beef consumption.
    • Vast areas of forest are cleared by cutting down trees and burning the forest down in order to create pasture land for grazing cattle.
  • Small-scale agriculture
    • As with ranching, small-scale agriculture requires the forest to be “slashed and burned” to clear the ground for crops and grazing of various types.
  • Forest fires
  • Industrial Agriculture Operations
  • Mining operations


With reference to ‘Amazon rainforest’, consider the following statements:

1. It is a moist broadleaf tropical rainforest

2. It covers four South American countries only.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither


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