The Amazon

This passage is about the Amazon rain forest.

Lexile Level: 1050L

Categories: People & Places Science & Technology Animals & Nature

The Amazon rain forest is the largest tropical rain forest on the planet. Covering more than 2.5 million square miles, it stretches across nine different countries in South America, including Brazil, Venezuela, and Colombia. For thousands of years, the Amazon rain forest has been home to a staggering number of plant and animal species. There are more species of fish in the Amazon basin than in the entire Atlantic Ocean. Twenty percent of all the birds in the world make their home in the Amazon. But these numbers may soon change forever. In the past forty years, at least 20 percent of the Amazon rain forest has been cut down by loggers, cattle ranchers, and farmers. Scientists estimate that another 20 percent may be lost within twenty years. Such deforestation could have serious consequences not only for the inhabitants of the rain forest but also for those of the entire planet; the trees of the rain forest produce one-fifth of the world's oxygen.

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