The biggest rainforests of the world
The world’s largest rainforests
It’s World Rainforest Day today (June 22)! A day to put our world’s rainforests in the spotlight because it’s mega important to protect them. Do you know which are the largest rainforests in the world? In this blog we will show them to you. We start at spot 10.
Number 10: the Westland temperate rainforest
The Westland temperate rainforest is found on the west coast of the New Zealand South Island. With an area of 11,880 km2, it is a unique piece of rainforest. What makes it so unique? The area is home to glaciers: the Fox glacier and Franz Josef glacier. Did you know that the rainforest is the habitat of at least 28 endangered bird species? One of these is the Rowikiwi, a flightless bird (also known as the kiwi) that is only found in the west of the South Island.
Number 9: The Bosawás Biosphere Reserve.
This reserve consists of tropical rainforest and is located in Nicaragua. After the Amazon forest, this is the largest tropical rainforest in the western hemisphere. It is super important to protect this beautiful reserve because it is threatened by cattle ranching. To make room for raising cattle, trees are being cut down en masse. Did you know that if the current rate of deforestation continues, the Bosawas reserve could be completely gone by 2050? All hands on deck to protect this beautiful area.
Number 8: The tropical rainforest of Sumatra
The island of Sumatra was once completely covered with tropical rainforest. As the 6th largest island in the world, only 25,000 square kilometers of rainforest remain today. About half of the rainforest has disappeared in the last 35 years, bad huh? Man’s impact is great through timber extraction and palm oil production. The tropical rainforest is now managed in 3 national parks: the Kerinci Seblat National Park, the Gunung Leuser National Park and the Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park.
The biodiversity on the island is great: there are about 580 different species of birds, 10,000 species of plants and 200 species of mammals. You probably know the Sumatran orangutan, one of the most endangered species in Sumatra’s rainforest.
Number 7: The Pacific temperate rainforest
Covering an area of 60,346 square kilometers, this is the largest temperate rainforest on a coastal region. Along the western coast of North America, the area stretches 4,000 kilometers from Prince William Sound in Alaska to Northern California. One animal you will often encounter here is the grizzly bear (or rather not). Want to spot other animals too? You’ll also find the black bear, American bald eagles, wolves, sitka deer and marble eels (small sea birds).
Number 6: The tropical rainforest of Borneo
One of the oldest rainforests on earth, the Borneo rainforest is about 140 million years old! The area consists partly of mountainous areas with altitudes above 1,000 meters and the other part consists of lowlands. With an area of 220,000 square kilometers, it is located in the territory of three countries: Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei. Did you know that the rainforest is protected? Together with the World Wildlife Fund, the governments of the three countries signed an agreement to this end in 2007. And that is necessary because in the past 40 years 1/3 of the rainforest in Borneo has been lost. So it’s good news for the mammals in the area (elephants and orangutans) that something is now being done about it.
Number 5: The eastern Australian temperate rain forests
Australia: You might not think it, but there are also rain forests there. They cover a total of 222,100 square kilometers! From the southeastern part of the Queensland coast to the central part of the New South Wales coast, you will find the rainforests. The Blue Mountains National Park, with cliffs of 300 meters high, is a famous park on the southeast coast of Australia. Are you a real animal / plant lover? Then you will find the most special ones here! From the koala to the velvet worm and from the dacelo (Australian kingfisher) to the helmeted cockatoo, you’ll be amazed.
Number 4: The temperate rainforest of Valdivian
On the territory of Argentina and Chile on the west coast is the temperate rainforest of Valdivian, sounds fairy tale right? With a rather large area of 248,100 square kilometers, we are talking about one of the largest in the world. With a rich flora and fauna consisting of ferns, bamboo and deciduous trees, this is truly paradise! Did you know that a number of rare animal species live here? You can find the Chilean otter, the gray-headed albatross and various species of toads and frogs.
Number 3: The tropical rainforests in New Guinea
With an area as the second largest island in the world, New Guinea consists of two-thirds tropical rainforest, cool huh? In the Asian Pacific, it is the largest rainforest and with an area of 288,000 square kilometers, we get it! And why is this rainforest so important? Well, because they contain enormous biodiversity. Some 760 bird species are found only here. Special animals such as the bird of paradise, the ground cuscus and the cassowary bird live here.
Number 2: The rainforest in the Congo basin
This is a really large area of rainforest and it covers no less than six Central African countries! The rainforest covers an area of 1.78 million square kilometers and is thus ranked number 2 in the top 10 largest rainforests in the world. With a very diverse landscape, such as rivers, savannas, forests and swamps, it is a beautiful habitat for the buffalo, elephant and gorilla. A ray of hope in the fight to preserve rainforests: in this area deforestation is not so bad compared to other rainforests, only the roads that are built for harvested wood are a problem here.
And then the number one: the Amazon rainforest
The very largest rainforest on earth is the Amazon, with about 5.5 million square kilometers the area is part of nine countries. If you put it in percentages, the rainforest takes up 40% of South America. Even though the area is threatened by deforestation it is estimated that there are about 390 billion trees, a lot hehe! There are 2,000 species of birds and 100,000 species of insects living in the area. Enough to see!
To stop global climate change and the extinction of animal and plant species, deforestation in the rainforests must stop! Put the rainforests in the spotlight today by thinking about them and buy products without palm oil, look at the ingredients list of the product so you can make a conscious choice. Let’s think about our lungs of the earth