Uploaded by Quinn Ehlers

ISP Research Notes

● Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and
French Guiana, countries that the rainforest spans through
● Contains about half of the world’s remaining rainforest, (1.4 million acres of
● Rainforest helps support global climate due to 40 million tons of carbon
● Deforestation, removing (releasing?) carbon, emissions causing climate change
go up
● Species of the rainforest: Lots of species, some still undiscovered, one of the
largest habitats for animals in the world and home to some of the most diverse
species: Some include (40,000 plant species, 3,000 fish species, more than 370
reptile types.
● More than 30 million inhabitants of the Amazon Rainforest, more than 350
indigenous tribes who live there and also rely on the forest for their needs, having
learned to rely on what the forest provides for them.
● Poorly planned infrastructure can be harmful to the forest b/c things like building
new roads into areas of forest that were not accessible previously, opening parts
up to illegal logging.
● Hydropower: Hydropower is being used to meet the demands of South American
energy needs, but to obtain the hydropower people are building dams in areas
that disrupt water traffic, interfere with a lot of local fisheries and cut off the routes
of many aquatic species in the rainforest.
● A lot of natural resources being harvested from the rainforest, almost no law
enforcement to protect them
● Resources like GOLD, OIL, LUMBER (illegal logging) overharvesting of FISH
● Overview ABOVE
● Extends 3,000 miles from the Andes mountains to the Atlantic Ocean.
● Covering ⅓ of South America. 6,500-mile Amazon River, only second in length to
the Nile River, which has some 1100 tributaries flowing into it, some of which =
1000 miles long.
● Rainforest is close to the equator, so the climate is always hot/humid.
● 40-80 in. of rainfall ann. In east regions, 160 in. ann. In west regions
● Thunderstorms over 200 days of year,
● Amazon= global resource, b/c plant life that protects’ the environment from
climate change. (greenhouse effect, specifically)
● When rainforest performs its function, it puts at least 50 percent of the rain back
into the atmosphere through evapotranspiration.
○ Evapotranspiration: the process by which water is transferred from the
land to the atmosphere by evaporation from the soil and other surfaces
and by transpiration from plants.
● Through this process the water forms into clouds which make it rain in other parts
of the forest that do not get as much rain.
● Rainforest Is Made Up Of 4 Layers:
○ On the tops of the trees. Gets intense sunlight, high temperatures, low
humidity, also getting very strong winds, which help disperse seeds across
the forest to other trees.
○ THE CANOPY: The upper canopy, a deep layer of vegetation roughly 20
feet thick, houses most of the rainforest's animal species and forms a roof
that blocks most light from reaching below. Comprised of the tallest trees
in the rainforest’s leaves (can be up to 200 ft tall)
○ THE UNDERSTORY:​The Understory layer, or strata, of tropical rainforest
vegetation lies between the Canopy layer, where there is plenty of
sunlight, and the Forest Floor layer, where there is almost none. When the
weather is very hot and wet as it is in the Understory layer, conditions are
just right for many types of insects, mosquitoes, and certain types of
○ THE FOREST FLOOR: Ground cover such as low shrubs, vines, etc.
herbs, animals that live here eat mostly the fungi, smaller animals, etc.
Where a lot of insects and smaller animals live, (ants, for example, need
to burrow in trees, etc.)
● Human Impact on the Rainforest:
○ Logging and selective natural resource harvesting have accounted for an
annual loss of 54 billion tons of carbon from the rainforest, increasing
greenhouse gas emissions.
○ Study took 70,000 samples of wood and other litter/dead wood and
measured how deforestation affects carbon emissions
○ Usually cutting down certain trees that are very big fall down and then
damage other trees in the area.
○ Many gaps in canopy results from this, then the gaps in canopy make the
parts of forest much drier (exposure to sun/wind) and makes that part of
the forest more susceptible to WILDFIRES
○ Large portions of deforested areas in the Amazon are occupied by
pastures, ranches, etc. Runoff from them, fires to manage areas
spreading and burning down more than expected.
○ In general, the Amazing= very diverse, but we need to protect it because it
is one of the largest rainforests and its beauty must be preserved for
everyone to enjoy.
○ ANIMALS: The Amazon is home to 427 mammal species, 1,300 bird
species, 378 species of reptiles, and more than 400 species of
○ Some interesting species include:
■ Capybara
■ Golden Lion Tamarin
■ Kinkajou
■ Sloth
■ Amazon River Dolphin
■ Puma
■ Giant river otter
■ Spider monkey
■ Woolly monkey
■ Capuchin monkey
■ Squirrel monkey
■ Uakari monkey
■ Titi monkey
■ Howler monkey
■ Saki monkey
■ Amazon pink river dolphin
■ Giant river otter
■ Tapir
■ Giant Anteater
■ Green Iguana
■ Harpy Eagle
■ Anaconda
■ Peanut Head Bug
■ Glass Frog
■ Jesus Lizard
■ Poison Dart Frog
■ Macaw
■ Puma
■ Giant river otter
■ Spider monkey
■ Woolly monkey
■ Capuchin monkey
■ Squirrel monkey
■ Uakari monkey
■ Titi monkey
■ Howler monkey
■ Saki monkey
■ Amazon pink river dolphin
■ Giant river otter
■ Tapir
■ Coatimundi
■ Agouti
■ Paca
■ Hoatzin
■ Macaws and other parrots
■ Toucans
■ Antbirds (antpittas, antshrikes, antwren, etc)
■ Kingfishers
■ Parakeets
■ Flycatchers
■ Woodpeckers
■ Tanagers
■ Manakins
■ Cock-of-the-rock
■ Guans
■ Storks and herons
■ Hummingbirds
■ Oropendola
■ Herps (reptiles and amphibians)
■ Anacondas and boa constrictors
■ Venomous snakes
■ Caiman
■ Poison dart frogs
■ Tree frogs
■ Iguanas and other lizards
■ Freshwater turtles
■ Fish
■ Arapaima or Pirarucu
■ Piranha
■ Arowana
■ Electric Eel
■ Giant Catfish
■ Neon tetras and other aquarium fish
■ Discus and angelfish
■ (Over ½ of these animals endangered/ threatened)
■ A lot of animals being wiped out, becoming extinct and/or
endangered b/c logging, wildfires (man-made)
■ This all has to stop, otherwise the Amazon will not have animal life
left (⅓ of all species in the world found in the Amazon, and that
would not be something to lose)
■ Based on the IUCN Red List, (2016), more than 2,600 animals of
South America were endangered, with over 118 of them being
located in Peru. Many of these species lived in the Amazon
● Indigenous tribes have inhabited the Amazon for many years, and they have
found many ways to survive and adapt to the harsh demands of their
environment. There really is no way to tell which tribes are which and what they
are called without talking to them, which most don’t allow, but (how they live)
○ Indigenous tribes were at risk many years ago by explorers who spread
many diseases,
○ Now at risk from deforestation and having to be kicked out of homes bc
logging etc.
○ Some of these tribes have had no contact with the outside world, and they
live off what they can find.
○ Some tribes are being wiped out by loggers and deforestation, and illegal
resource gathering, and artificial wildfires: NEED TO STOP
○ A lot of people getting kicked out of their home and the government of
their country is not supporting them, actually in favor of logging and
kicking out indigenous tribes to make room for ranches and pastures
○ Good example of this is the Mura tribe that live in the Amazon: More than
18,00 live in the Amazon. Recently, investigators approached the area
only to find the tribe showing them large holes in the ground where there
was once forest near their village that they had used to collect resources
and such things.
○ “With each passing day, we see the destruction advance: deforestation,
invasion, logging,” said Handerch Wakana Mura, a leader of a tribal clan
of more than 60 people​. ​“We are sad because the forest is dying at every
moment. We feel the climate changing and the world needs the forest.”
○ He spoke the truth, the amazon deforestation up by more than 67 percent
in the first seven months of the same period only last year!
○ A lot of tribespeople and of course the environmentalists blame the
right-wing president (recently elected) Jair Bolsonaro (more on him later)
for the drastic increase in fires and also deforestation in recent years.
○ They had good reason to blame him, especially because he has
encouraged the founding of many protected cattle reserves and/or
ranches and has also increased funding for these programs.
○ Also he made sure that many of the organizations that sought to put fines
in place (environmental) that fined farmers or (of the like) for clearing land,
or possibly more land than they needed (possibly 1 acre max)
● Lot of tribes in the forest,
○ Logging interests cut down rainforest trees for timber used in pretty much
○ Power plants and other industries cut and burn trees to generate
○ The paper industry turns huge tracts of rain forest trees into pulp.
○ The cattle industry uses slash-and-burn techniques to clear ranch land.
○ Agricultural interests, particularly the soy industry, clear forests for
○ farmers slash-and-burn rainforest for firewood and to make room for crops
and grazing lands.
○ Mining operations clear forests to build roads and dig mines.
○ Governments and industry clear-cut forests to make way for service and
transit roads.
○ Hydroelectric projects flood acres of rainforest.
○ All of these threats add up to a devastating 6% of rainforest lost each
○ Another big threat to the rainforest could be the fact that many new
settlements have recently popped up in certain parts of the forest.
○ This causes a lot of the tribes that originally lived there to have to leave (or
rather, pushed out of their homes
○ People have contributed to deforestation in different ways throughout the
○ In the beginning it was mostly farmers who wanted to clear land to plant
crops to feed their families and for local consumption
○ Then in late 20th century people began to start cutting down forests for
industrial and more large scale purposes
○ At least 125,000 hectares (310,000 acres) of the Brazilian Amazon were
cleared through 2019 and then burned in August.
○ In August, tens of thousands of active fires ravaged the Amazon region
and triggered an international outcry, with protesters in Brazil and around
the world demanding effective action from President Jair Bolsonaro to
curb the blazes.People noticed them after São Paulo’s skies suddenly
turned black with smoke on August 19, prompting an outpouring of
concern across social media worldwide under the #PrayforAmazonas
hashtag, which reached more than 300,000 tweets in just two days.
○ 2019 is the greatest year for fires, Brazil’s National Institute for Space
Research (INPE) revealed that this year has seen the most fires since
measurements began in 2012. 74,155 fires between Jan. 1 and Aug. 20,
2019, an increase of 85 percent compared with the same period last year.
The states most affected are Mato Grosso, with 14,000 fires, Pará 9,818,
Amazonas 7,150, Tocantins 5,776 and Rondônia 5,604
○ All of the states had been hit with much lower numbers in the earlier
period of measurement for the study
○ “This situation has been caused by humans who wanted to take
advantage of the Amazon at any cost and it has got out of hand like never
before,” said Dolors Armenteras, a biologist and professor at the National
University of Colombia who has studied hotspots and fires in the Amazon
biome for several years.
○ “We have a high record of fire outbreaks and it’s taking up a large area of
the Amazon. And not only there, but also in the Cerrado and Pantanal
biomes,” said Carlos Durigan, the Brazil country director for the Wildlife
Conservation Society (WCS).
○ They have noticed that a lot of the fires are being set illegally to clear parts
of forest that are protected or have a certain endangered species in them
(see above, wild animal destruction)
○ Unmeasurable impacts on wildlife, B/C lot of immobile species that are
unlikely to escape fire, all dead
○ Lots of study shows that Amazon will not be how it once was again for
centuries, b/c even if not completely burned, take a long time to recover
from extensive burning. If burning continues, all amazon countries will be
affected, not only brazil.
○ https://panda.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=67478a
42d7554ae598e4169b70e9f093​ deforestation map for South America
○ WWF estimates that by 2030 more than 27 percent of the rainforest will be
gone if current trend continues
○ Amazon biggest deforestation front in the world, consists of many smaller,
important deforestation fronts in certain parts of the rainforest
○ Brazil is the main victim of deforestation, but also in many other countries
along aforementioned “sub fronts' ' that span across many other South
American countries, making the deforestation area a lot bigger than it is
perceived to be.
○ Areas with the most deforestation are the areas that have the most roads
in them. This is because these areas are being destroyed by loggers more
than any other areas due to their accessibility.
○ Other factors weighing heavily on the cause of numerous deforestation
fronts are the increase of cattle ranching in South America as well as
governmental groups setting out to connect more and more parts of the
Amazon to each other with roads and canals.
○ Preventing the Amazon from being destroyed at such an alarming pace; or
rather, to help rebuild the rainforest and slow down the deforestation rate:
○ Different governments to find ways to protect areas of the rainforest
(protected b/c deforestation, native tribes, animals conservation, etc.)
○ Providing incentives for less logging (companies) or for making sure that
companies plant as many trees as they cut down
○ --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------○ BIGGEST DEFORESTATION spike in over decade, lot of causes for it
○ Bolsonaro interviewed, said that it was partly the fault of his lax
environmental policies
○ Reporters also said that it was in part the fault of Bolsonaros massive
budget cuts for environmentally friendly programs and conservation
workers organizations across South America. Apparently
○ In defense of him doing this he said that these organizations were
impediments to Brazil’s economic growth
○ Lot of critics say that these policies are actually a major cause for
deforestation increasing as of late. They are because the policies were put
in place so that certain agencies could keep an eye on the rate of
deforestation and respond accordingly to companies or parties that were
logging to much or similar activities that contribute to deforestation
○ A result of his major budget cuts: Criticism of his policies only growing
louder b/c he made it so that large portions of agencies (besides the local
firefighters) that controlled the rate of local wildfires were shut down or
that they no longer had enough money to be able to continue their work
putting out fires before they reach uncontrollable proportions
○ Recently Bolsonaro (environmental critic) suspected that the numbers that
were displayed by the INPE​ (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais)
○ He also recently fired the head of the agency Ricardo Magnus Osório
Galvão because he was apparently questioning how Bolsonaro was using
the INPEs numbers
○ Disputes over the government's environmental policies have also erupted
between Bolsonaro and other world leaders(Ex. French president
Emmanual Macron) — offered Brazil at least $22 million to help fight the
wildfires. Bolsonaro angrily refused that offer, demanding a personal
apology from Macron as the condition for him even considering it.
○ Greenpeace representative Cristiane Mazzetti said that "President
Bolsonaro's anti-environmental agenda favours those who practice
environmental crimes, and encourages violence against forest people,".
She also stated after that, “​"His administration is trashing practically all the
work that has been done in recent decades to protect the environment and
end deforestation."
○ The new INPE numbers do not only indicate that the rate of deforestation
is the highest in Brazil that it has been in 11 years, but also that it is the
third highest one record anywhere in the world
○ "The level of deforestation is far from what we wanted, but it's also far
from the three digit numbers that had been reported," Brazilian
environment minister Ricardo Sales reported at a press conference at
○ He said the increasing levels of deforestation were caused by illegal
activities such as cattle grazing, agriculture, wood extraction and trade
and illegal mining.
○ The minister added that the country needs "a sustainable economy
alternative for that region of the Amazon" to stop rising deforestation
levels. He could help by making sure that people do not partake in illegal
activities such as the [stated above]
○ _______________________________________________
○ Fires also set to drive indigenous people off of their land so that the
companies do not have to secure the land through legal means
○ Saying that they should “have the land” because it is not being used for
anything else and is “uninhabitable” by indigenous people
○ The clans have not been able to stop the loggers from clearing out large
swaths of land that were in use or were protected etc (like a burial ground,
for example)
○ Login in the area of the Mura tribes' home has been going on for more
than 5 years, and the authorities have done next to nothing about the fact
that the area around their home has been getting more and more
destroyed ever since some ologgers discovered that there was a lot of rich
○ forest near the village that they could extract
○ Loggin spreading to larger areas, drone images showed that the number
of trees were down in that area by more than 87 percent and that was only
in the places where the loggers had been in the past two or three months.
It made sense that they wanted to keep the loggers olut because they
used the land to collect resources and most of what they needed
○ New logging paths recently were opened up near a large portion of force
that holds valuable Brazil nut trees that the tribe used as a mostly (main)
food source for the rest of the tribe and without them they would not be
able to harvest as much food bec have to use other plants/ trees that they
wouldn’t be able to get as much food out of
○ In the harvesting season, the tribe gathers as much as they can from their
main food sources (trees)
○ Tribe has been struggling for a very long time to get the area around their
village and the trees that they need to survive to become a protected area
(nature reserve)
■ They say that this will be a tough battle, b/c Bolsonaro saying that
he does not want to set aside any more tribal land.
■ This and many other Amazon tribes are trying to keep the threat of
deforestation away from their homes and their people.
■ Large efforts not really being made to make sure that the
deforestation in the Amazon does not continue. Many
environmental organizations trying to get logging companies and
such to lay off the amount of trees they cut down in a certain area,
and spread it out across the forest, if at all, rather than just cutting
down a large amount of trees in one area
■ Logging industry retaliating by saying that this is less cost efficient,
would have to use more fuel to get to the other parts of the forest
where there are more trees and also that those are unmapped
parts of the forest where there could be unknown hazards, best to
stay in areas that are familiar
■ Amazon | Places
■ Amazon Rainforest
■ Devastating human impact on the Amazon rainforest revealed May 23,
■ Amazon Threats
■ What Animals Live In The Amazon Rainforest?
■ Animals of the Amazon rainforest
■ 17 Animals That Live Only in the Amazon Rainforest
■ Endangered Animals of the Amazon Rainforest
■ Endangered Amazon Animals & Rainforest Wildlife
■ Rainforest Threats Information
■ Brazilian Amazon fires scientifically linked to 2019 deforestation: report
■ Fires in Brazil's Amazon have devastating consequences
■ https://panda.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=67478
■ Deforestation in the Amazon​ Rainforest Sees Biggest Spike In
Deforestation In Over A
■ The Amazon rainforest is in trouble. Again.
■ Amazon deforestation rate hits highest level in over a decade
■ Brazil's indigenous people swear to fight for Amazon 'to last drop of blood'
■ Deforestation of the Amazon rainforest
■ World of Change: Amazon Deforestation