South American Animals TOOB
South America is a large continent with a diverse range of ecosystems and climates. In the West you have the Andes Mountains, and to the East are some of the largest rivers in the world, including the Amazon River, the Panará River, and the Orinoco River.
There are savannas in the northern lowlands, as well as tropical rainforests in the Amazon River Basin, which covers much of the northern area of the continent. The river basin houses a huge range of animals and plants, many of which are found nowhere else in the world.
The rainforests of the Amazon are hugely valuable to the world, in terms of both their biodiversity and the benefit of trees in producing oxygen. The rainforests are under serious threat due to deforestation – forests are being cut down to make way for development of agriculture and farms, as well as human settlements. The discovery of fossil fuels in the Amazon rainforest means that oil drilling is also a major threat.
The loss of the rainforests would mean not only the loss of millions of unique species of plants and animals, but also a release of carbon dioxide contained in the trees and plants that would speed up the process of climate change. Conservation efforts are underway to protect these valuable rainforests, but much more needs to be done to ensure their protection.