Brazilian Rainforest Deforestation, what it's effecting and how much longer it will be around

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Deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest

It is simply a matter of time before there may no longer be an Amazon rainforest. Numerous factors contribute to the forest's destruction but, the main threat is an economic one. The dependence of the Brazilian citizens on wood from the country's forest for fuel and export as well as income from mining in forest areas has resulted in deforestation of the Amazon. Environmental activists and animal rights supporters from around the world have been attempting to raise awareness of the devastating results both to the environment and to endangered species.

The Amazon rainforest is located along the Amazon River in Brazil (map, Appendix 1). At 4,000 miles long it is one of the longest in the world, second only to the Nile River in Africa. Seventeen of the Amazon's tributaries are over 1,000 miles long. At some places the river is 300 miles across and it is so deep that ocean liners can travel 2,300 miles up its length.

One fifth of the world's fresh water is in the Amazon Basin and over 2,000 types of fish have been found there. (Rainforest Facts, 6) The river is the strongest driving force behind the forest itself. The rainforest is home to countless living species and many natural resources such as gold, uranium, bauxite, manganese, cassiterite, oil, and gas. (Rainforest Facts, 9)

In addition to having many natural resources, the Amazon Rainforest is home to 564 species of mammals, 15 million species of insect, 500,000 species of plants and numerous types of micro organisms, accounting for thirty percent of the world's biodiversity. (Rainforest Action Network, 1) Many of these species are endangered due to the massive deforestation of the rainforest. Much of it is being cut down, burned, or severely damaged. In 1970, 1 percent...