The Effects of Deforestation on Wildlife: Profiles





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Orangutans:
The orangutan is a fascinating animal that can be found relaxing and swinging from tree to tree in rainforests of higher elevations. Sometimes they are found in lowland swamps, but mainly they are up in the trees sleeping or on a mad hunt for fresh fruit in the trees. Being that orangutans reproduce every seven or eight months, and typically only have one offspring (like humans) they are deeply affected when their habitat is torn down. Deforestation causes orangutans to lose their sources of food and community amongst each other. They are one of the biggest mammals to live in trees and need a lot of space and food to function and reproduce. Not only is there illegal destruction of the rainforest to increase agriculture productions, but there is also illegal wildlife trade so that poachers can make money. Unfortunately, as a result there “has been [a] loss of some 80 percent of the orangutans’ habitat in just the last two decades.” The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is doing a lot to try to raise concern and help stop deforestation and the destruction of these precious animals.

Jaguars:
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Jaguars are amazing animals that are often on the hunt for food or mates. They are constantly in action and love the habitat and climate of the rainforest, sometimes they can even be found in grassy areas near water. Because of deforestation, their habitat is slowly but surely being eliminated. Jaguars' hunting patterns are very distinct and can be easily thrown off by the slightest things like a road being built or land being cleared. With their highly desirable fur, they are already subject to illegal poaching. This creature is one of the top predators in the ecosystem and without it, there would be a huge gap in the food chain, which could potentially throw off other species. Sadly, “because of the effect of hunting and deforestation on jaguars, there are only approximately 15,000 worldwide." And that number is steadily decreasing. Hopefully, their habitats will be restored and saved so that this amazing animal can be around for years to come.



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Toucans:
Not only are toucans stunning animals; they are fascinating to see. Their beautiful, vibrant colors are eye-catching and truly unique to the rainforests. They have long beaks to reach up into the trees and get succulent fruit. They fall with in the woodpecker family along with 40 other species and are often seen flying in small groups to keep each other safe from predators. The jaguar is actually the one of the most dangerous to them. However, this creature is also a victim of deforestation, which is destroying the trees they eat from and the groups they travel in because fewer groups are able to fly together and act as protectors. They are losing their sense of community between each other and face the possibility of extinction. This animal is too beautiful to be destroyed just for some extra agricultural land or a road. They have one of the loudest calls in the rainforest to scare away predators and are essential to spreading fruit seeds to help the ecosystem grow. It would be a shame to lose such a essential creature.


Please visit the following sites for more information:
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=deforestation-and-orangutans
http://answers.yourdictionary.com/answers/animal-life/jaguars-affected-deforestation.html
http://www.costarica-homeschool.com/cw/toucans.html
http://www.amersol.edu.pe/ms/7th/7block/jungle_research/new_cards/40/report_40.html
http://www.lizasreef.com/HOPE%20FOR%20THE%20RAIN%20FORESTS/quotes_about_rain_forests.htm