The Amazon rainforest is the world's biggest tropical forest

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The Amazon is vanishing at a shocking rate, just as most rainforests in the world are. The Amazon used to cover 14% of the world's surface, but now it has shrunk to only 6%, meaning, more than half of the forest has been destroyed. Commercial logging (both legal and illegal) is the main cause of this major loss of forest area. Trees are cut for farming and cattle grazing. Approximately two hundred thousand square miles of forest in the Amazon is lost each year. If the present Amazon rainforest deforestation rate continues, experts fear that in less than half a century, the Amazon rainforest will be gone.

Amazon Rainforest Deforestation Facts

Commercial logging

Often cited as the major cause of forest destruction, continues due to the need for resources. Logging is done to produce timber, which is used to build houses and make furniture. As the population of the world grows, the need for timber also increases. It is feared that the rate of deforestation may increase as the world's population exponentially grows.


Mining operations are also notorious for environmental destruction. Although mining allows the extraction of useful minerals and metal ores, the environmental consequences are often extreme. During the 1980s, the so-called Gold Rush occurred in Brazil. This imposed negative impact on the Amazon's ecosystem, including the loss of trees, death of animals, and pollution of rivers.

Road Construction

This is also one of the reasons why there is a major loss of trees in the jungle. In the last 40 years, more than nine thousand miles of road work has been built within the Amazon area. For road construction to occur, some parts of the Amazon need to be cleared. Its ecological impact is great during and even after the construction of roads. Immediate destruction of trees and their inhabitants occur during road construction.

Map of desforastion

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