Deforestation of the Amazon

Essay by CaptusJack April 2006

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Deforestation is when forest habitat is lost due to natural or human related causes. There's natural related causes of deforestation like tsunamis, forest fires, volcanic eruptions and glaciations and there is Human related causes of deforestation like mining, logging and farmers burning forest for farming.

The Causes of deforestation

Cattle ranching is the leading cause of deforestation in Brazil. This has been the case since at least the 1970. This is because the eradication of Foot and Mouth Disease in much of Brazil has increased price and demand for Brazilian beef, road construction gives developers and ranchers access to previously inaccessible forest lands in the Amazon and because developers can gain title to Amazon lands by simply clearing forest and placing a few head of cattle on the land.

Another cause of deforestation is logging. Logging is a major industry in rainforests which supplies demand for wood in other countries.

This industry has become a major cause for population increase in countries like Brazil and other tropical nations. Logging is only allowed in certain areas in Brazil, but illegal logging takes place. There are over one thousand different types of trees in rainforests including hardwoods such as Mahogany, Greenheart and Rosewood which are quite expensive and draw loggers to chop them down. Logging is closely linked with road building. As logging areas in rainforests would be inaccessible without them.

In addition to these causes farming is also a major cause of deforestation as tropical fruits like bananas, coconuts and pineapples can be grown there. Also a lot of soybeans are grown in rainforests especially in Brazil where they export a lot to the United State as the world's leading exporter of soybeans.

The Effects of Deforestation

Deforestation has huge affects on the ecosystem. One of these affects is...