AMAZON TOUR: Amazon Rainforest Slideshow

40+ pictures and maps from the Amazon rainforest

The Amazon

The Amazon rainforest is located in South America. It is named after the Amazon River, which is the largest river in the world.

The Amazon rainforest includes parts of 8 countries: Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, and Suriname, as well as French Guiana, which is a department of France.

The Amazon is the world's largest rainforest. More than half the Amazon rainforest is located in Brazil.

The Amazon rainforest is believed to contain more species than any other ecosystem in the world. As much as a third of the planet's land-based species are thought to live in the Amazon region.

While some of the most famous animals in the Amazon rainforest are large:

Jaguar - the largest cat in the Americas


Harpy eagle - the largest raptor in the world


Poison dart frogs


Most are very tiny.

The Amazon rainforest is also home to indigenous people, some of whom live in tribes.

Traditional indigenous people have great knowledge of the forest, including plants and animals.

Shaman, or traditional medicine-men, use plants to heal people. But shaman are disappearing as the Amazon rainforest is cut down.

There are other reasons the Amazon is important.

Trees and other plants in the Amazon absorb carbon dioxide as they grow, helping fight climate change.

The Amazon creates large amounts of rainfall, which provides water for agriculture and electrity generation.

The Amazon influences global weather patterns.

But as the Amazon rainforest is cut down, these benefits are lost.

About 20 percent of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil has been destroyed since 1970.

The main reason for deforestation is agriculture. People cut down the Amazon rainforest to raise cattle and plant crops like soybeans.

The Amazon rainforest is also logged for timber.

Fire is a big problem in the Amazon, too. Usually fires are set by people who want to clear rainforest for farms and ranches.

Warmer ocean temperatures in the Atlantic can cause bad droughts in the Amazon, which make fires much worse.

In 2005 and 2010, the Amazon rainforest had the worst drought ever recorded. Giant rivers dried up and millions of acres of forest burned.

But recently there has also been some good news for the Amazon.

Since 2004, the deforestation rate has fallen by a lot in Brazil. There are several reasons.

The government has set up more parks to protect rainforests.

The government is also using satellites to monitor the Amazon. This has improved enforcement of environmental laws and people who deforest have been punished.

Environmentalists have put pressure on companies not to cut down rainforests.

Indigenous people have protected rainforest in their territories.

Now other countries like Peru and Ecuador are starting to follow Brazil.

At the same time countries like Norway, Germany, Britain, France, and the United States are trying to help by providing money and technology to reduce deforestation.

Still a lot must still be done to ensure the Amazon rainforest is around for kids in the future.

There are things you can do to help.

Tell your friends and parents about why the Amazon is important and what is happening to it.

Be sure to recycle and reduce energy use. Try to produce as little garbage as possible.

Ask questions about the products you and your family buys. Do these products harm the environment?

Join an organization that is working to protect the Amazon.

If we all work together, the Amazon can be saved.

This tour was created by Rhett A. Butler, the founder of