VIEWS: 2 PAGES: 16 POSTED ON: 8/28/2010
What is the Rain forest? Why is it so valuable? Why is it in trouble? How can we save the rain forests? By Claire Galea WHAT IS A RAIN FOREST? On the outside, a rain forest has a wall averaging 20 feet thick that is made of a tangle of vines that love light. This wall seals off the interior creating the illusion that the whole jungle is this thick. But if you find an animal path or stream to follow, you can slip through and enter this mysterious world. Once you're inside, you can look up and see a tree canopy that's as high as a 17 story building! And it's pretty dark too, a perpetual twilight. Only 1% of the sunlight ever actually touches the floor of the forest. And moonlight, even a full moon, doesn't get through at all. You'd better have a flashlight with you if you plan on reading any comics. Rain forests have different layers that support different animals and insects. Some plants and animals occupy specific layers, while others live and feed wherever they can. DWARF CAIMAN CAPYBARA MACAWS ZOG-ZOG PECCARY Why is the Rain Forest so Valuable? •Fifty percent of the medicines used in the world every day come from rain forest plants. And 25% of all prescription drugs have their origins there too. •The corn plant originally came from Mexico and South American rain forests. •Rice has its origins in Asian rain forests. •Orange juice, tea, eggs, and bananas all originated from plants and animals of Asian rain forests. •Over 50% of the fruits you eat regularly originally came from tropical rain forests. Sugar originated in the rain forests of India, while pineapple from Venezuelan rain forests. Cocoa and chocolate both originated in Central and South American rain forests. And coffee's origins can be traced to an Ethiopian rain forest. The Rain Forest is in Trouble: In addition to being one of our most precious natural resources, tropical rain forests are among the most endangered habitats on earth. It is vital that everyone understands how important forests are. If we destroy them, we are in danger of causing great havoc on the planet. Causes of Deforestation: * clearance for roads and railways * forest fires * mining and drilling for fuel wood * international timber trade * collection and clearance for living space Humans already have destroyed half of the rain forest area, with most damage occurring in the last 200 years. WATCH OUT FOR OUR EARTTH WAYS THAT YOU CAN HELP TO SAVE THE RAIN FOREST: •Write letters to your senators and representatives to let them know that you are concerned about rain forest destruction. Ask that they support programs that help protect tropical areas throughout the world. •Make personal contact with people in tropical countries to better understand what their life is like. Become a pen pal, or make a visit! WATCH OUT FOR OUR EARTTH MORE WAYS THAT YOU CAN HELP TO SAVE THE RAIN FOREST: • Raise money to support programs that help protect the world's rain forests. Organize a fund-raising party with tropical food and music. Plant trees in your own community to remind people of tropical forest destruction. •Go in with some friends and buy an acre of rain forest. The Nature Conservancy's "Adopt-an-Acre Program" lets you purchase the protection of an acre of rain forest in a specific nature preserve. WATCH OUT FOR OUR EARTTH MORE WAYS THAT YOU CAN HELP TO SAVE THE RAIN FOREST: •Buying rain forest foods gives people living in rain forests a reason to keep forests intact, instead of cutting them down to raise other foods, like grains or cattle. •Turn off the lights or TV when you leave a room •Recycle: paper, cardboard, plastic, glass, metals--everything you can! * Walk or ride your bike instead of driving.
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