Dear Mark –
We talk about biodiversity a lot, – but what does it really mean? Should we care?
All living beings in an ecosystem are part of the web of life, including us. Together there are an estimated 8.7 million species of plants, animals, and insects on Earth, each interacting to create a resilient environment upon which we all depend for survival. When the web is weakened, our future is threatened. Maintaining diversity of species in our ecosystem – including the 2.2 million marine species and the 6.5 million terrestrial species –is of critical importance.
In honor of World Environment Day, Amazon Watch asks you to make a commitment to protect the biodiversity of the Amazon by supporting our efforts. From protecting Yasuní National Park in Ecuador to preventing destructive mega dams, Amazon Watch is confronting threats to our precious biodiversity where it is richest and densest, in the Amazon.
When we talk about biodiversity in the Amazon, we're talking about the greatest repository of life on Earth. The Amazon is home to about 2.5 million insect species, tens of thousands of plants, and 2,000 birds and mammals. To date, at least 40,000 plant species, 2,200 fish, 1,294 birds, 427 mammals, 428 amphibians, and 378 reptiles have been scientifically classified in the region. And there are thousands more discovered that have yet to be documented. One in five of all the bird species in the world live in the rainforests of the Amazon, and one in five of global fish species live in Amazonian rivers and streams.
A 2001 study finding that a quarter square kilometer (62 acres) of Ecuadorian rainforest supports more than 1,100 tree species, meaning that the biodiversity of plant species there is the highest on Earth. In the Amazon alone we find almost four hundred billion trees!
Among those trees live scarlet macaws, woolly monkeys, three-striped poison dart tree frogs, sloths, monkey frogs, capybaras, red howler monkeys, ocelots, harpy eagles, squirrel monkeys, green iguanas, jaguars...and hundreds more. Those are just the animals!
The Amazon is our richest repository of biodiversity, and it is under great threat. Maintaining the integrity of the Amazon means protecting one of the densest sections of our planetary web of life.
By supporting Amazon Watch you support this web of life that we all depend upon. Through our efforts to protect the Amazon and advance the rights of indigenous peoples – the traditional and best stewards of this natural world – you, too, are making a tangible difference.
This World Environment Day, please support Amazon Watch. We're working for you and for all life.
For the Amazon,
Director of Engagement
P.S. THIS WEEK ONLY! Get a limited edition FLOAT Apparel Amazon Watch
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