A few facts about the Amazon rainforest…

  • In order to maintain the consistent level of rainfall it is accustomed to, scientists estimate that roughly 70% of the Amazon needs to be protected and intact.
  • In a 60 acre plot in the Amazon, scientists found 1,104 different species of trees, just under what is found in Asia, Europe, and North America combined (1,166).
  • A large kapok tree can produce an estimated 650,000 flowers which contain 200 liters of nectar when it blooms.
  • There are nearly 1 million insects known to science in the Amazon basin. The Hercules beetle, found in the Amazon, is the strongest creature on earth, capable of carrying 850 times its own body weight.
  • There are two times the number of mammal species in the Amazon than there are in the United States.
  • Manu National Park in Peru contains at least 1,307 species of butterflies, twice the number found in the United States.
  • The number of indigenous people within Brazil was estimated to be over 6 million in the 15th century. Today there are roughly 310,000.
  • There are 195 known languages spoken within the Amazon Basin.
  • Of the 160 societies that live within the Amazon rainforest, nearly 50% have no contact with the outside world.
  • In Manu National Park, ornithologist John Terborgh identified 526 different bird species, more than the entire country of Canada (491). Canada, however, is over 64 times as large as Manu National Park.
  • Of the 14 species of Macaw birds in the Amazon, 9 are classified as vulnerable if not critically threatened.
  • The Blue Morpho butterfly’s wings are so iridescent that they can be viewed up to one-half mile away.