Endangered species in the rainforest
Name: Teri S Brown
How many species of animals, because of rainforest destruction,
disappear each day?
No one has a clue. The main problem is that nearly all forms of
life on the planet are quite a bit smaller than us. So we don't notice
them, unless they bite, and they're hard to find and study. And there
has not been that much work done to study and classify species in the
rain forest, and to understand which die out from rainforest destruction
of various kinds (pollution, drying out, logging). Actually the rate of
rainforest destruction itself isn't even known except quite roughly.
Still, you can make estimates. We can guess the number is high, because
it is beyond doubt that rainforests have more species per square inch
than anywhere else in the world.
If it's a matter than concerns you, you might think about becoming
involved in an organization that campaigns for the gathering of accurate
information about the environment, or writing your congressional
representatives about the issue --- they do listen! If you live in the
American West, you might consider getting involved in your own area, e.g.
writing your state representatives, because the old forests of the American
West are also being destroyed and the same issue exists there. One of the
most promising new drugs for treating breast cancer (tamoxifen), for
example, comes out of a tree that grows wild in the American West.
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Update: June 2012