Endangered animals in the Amazon

According to scientific studies, it is estimated that there are about 7.77 million species of animals in the world. It is an impressive number right? However, the alteration of natural spaces, generally due to the action of man, has caused that many of them are in danger of extinction, especially in those areas considered a source of resources such as the Amazon basin.

What is the Amazon and where is it located?

The Amazon is the largest tropical forest regionon the planet and owes its name to the Amazon River. The Amazon River is a river in South America that has its source in the Arequipa region, and crosses Colombia and Brazil where it empties, reaching its largest surface.

It is the longest and mightiest river in the world with 7,062 km in length, representing about a fifth of the fresh water in liquid form on the planet. It was the Spanish explorer Francisco de Orellana who baptized it as Amazonas, since, when this explorer traveled the course of the river, he was attacked by a tribe of Indian warriors who reminded him of the warrior women of ancient Greek legends, the Amazons, so who decided to call the river like that.

As we have mentioned previously, Brazil is the country that is home to most of the Amazon rainforest, in which deforestation and forest degradation have become a chronic problem, losing huge tracts of rainforest every year and emitting large amounts of greenhouse gases. greenhouse effect. So much so that since 1970 a forest area larger than all of France has been lost in Brazil alone.

The expansion of the agricultural frontier for the cultivation of soybeans and the creation of pastures for livestock is the main responsible for this problem. Also, industrial logging , which is largely illegal, paves the way for further destruction through the use of fire. Another great threat to the ecosystem is the hydroelectric projects that disturb all the rivers of the Amazon basin.

Endangered animals in the Amazon and the Amazon rainforest

Despite the aforementioned problems, the fauna of the Amazon is very varied and in it we can find approximately a total of 643 species. Of these, 326 are believed to be birds, 185 are fish, 67 are mammals, 37 are amphibians and 28 are reptiles. In fact, some animals exist only in this territory such as: the sloth bear, golden lion tamarin, spider monkey , electric eel, bullet ant, poison dart frog, green anaconda, black caiman, glass frog or Jesus Christ lizard.

However, due to various factors such as deforestation , forest degradation, hunting, water and soil pollution, climate change, fires, habitat loss and animal trafficking, there are several species from the Amazon region in danger of extinction, especially those that have their habitat in trees (birds, reptiles, etc.) that due to the aforementioned deforestation are disappearing or progressively reducing their population.

Some of the animals that are in greater danger of extinction in the Amazon are:

  • Jaguar: it is the largest feline in America and the third in the world, after the tiger and the lion. It is one of the species most affected by deforestation, competition for food, the fragmentation of its habitat and poaching. In this other GreenEcology article we tell you more about why the jaguar is in danger of extinction .
  • Pink dolphin : it is the largest river dolphin in the world. It basically feeds on fish and inhabits shallow rivers. The pink dolphin is particularly affected by hunting, the degradation of its habitat, which makes its migration more difficult, and overfishing.
  • Giant otter: carnivorous mammal that basically feeds on fish and, although it is considered an amphibian species, its habits are basically terrestrial. We can find it in rivers, streams and freshwater lakes. Their greatest threat is poaching and the degradation of their habitat.
  • Caribbean manatee: inhabits shallow water areas and basically feeds on marine plants. The main threat it faces is, again, hunting. Furthermore, manatees have a very low reproductive rate, which complicates their ability to repopulate.

Currently, some measures are being promoted to help the animals in danger of extinction in the Amazon and to stop this problem, such as the following, and all of them with a common objective, the defense of the environment.

  • The Zero Deforestation Law .
  • Improvements in the legislation regarding the importation of illegal wood.
  • Alliances between populations and indigenous peoples .

Besides, each of us can do our part to improve this situation. For example, we can avoid buying products that favor the deforestation of this habitat, help large organizations and associations that are dedicated to the protection of these areas, if we go there on a trip, choose to do sustainable tourism, and so on.

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