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Rainforest Rendezvous

Climate and People of the Rainforest

The Climate in the Rainforest:

Tropical rainforests are found around the center of the earth known as the equator (0 degrees). They are typically located between the Tropic of Capricorn (23.5 degrees south) and the Tropic of Cancer (23.5 degrees north), which are parallel to the equator. Tropical rainforests can be found in South and Central America, Africa, and Oceania (islands around Australia). Rainforests cover only about 7% of the entire earth's surface.

Tropical rainforests are not the only type of rainforest. There are temperate rainforests which are located in a more northerly direction and have a less tropical climate. They cover less area than tropical rainforest. However, we will be talking about tropical rainforests, only. Left is a photo of the canopy of a tropical rainforest.

A Little More about the Rainforest Climate:

The name of the tropical rainforest is not without a reason. It rains a lot in the rainforest. In fact, it usually rains about 80 inches per year or about 1 1/2 inches per week. However, fortunately, the weather is very warm in the rainforest. It is usually in the area of 75 to 80 degrees. It rarely gets hotter or colder.

The soil in the rainforest is unique, as well. The topsoil is very thin, only 3-4 inches. It is full of nutrients and is very valuable to the plants and trees that depend on it. However, under that 3-4 inches is clay. Clay is very difficult for things to live in and therefore, it very important that the topsoil of the rainforest be preserved. In a normal natural setting, that is not a problem because the rainforest works perfectly to protect its soil by dense plants and trees. However, when plants and trees are cut and burned, it makes the soil very susceptible to washing away and the destruction of the rainforest becomes more severe.

People of the Rainforest :

Many tribes live in the tropical rainforests. Each have their own culture, mythology, religion and rituals. They have lived there for generations and have learned to live using only the products that the rainforest. They are hunter-gatherers, meaning they hunt in the rainforest for their food and gather plants, fruits, berries and other ingredients that are edible. In addition, most tribes have gardens built around the area of their tribe. They have learned how to respect the forest, plants and animals they share the land with. They realize that they must conserve the animals and plants to leave enough to future generations.

Some tribes that live in the rainforest are the Yanomami, Cofan, Kayapo, Yekuana, Iban, Mehinacu and Xikru, among others. They live respecting the forest. However, life is still not easy for them. There are many natural problems including competition for hunting grounds and limited natural medicines. However, the problems these tribes face have become larger since the rainforest has begun to have interest from outsiders. Logging companies, ranchers and miners have entered land and taken it for themselves. In addition, they have brought foreign disease and destroyed the land (as you can read about on the "destruction" part of this site) making it unusable for tribes in the future.

However, the future is not completely dim for these tribes. Finally, the attention of the public is on them and reserves are being created for them. In addition, the problems of the rainforest are coming to more attention and steps are being made to save it (see the "saving the rainforest" part of this site). There is still a long way to go. However, some advances are being made. The photo above is of a tribal woman making food.

| ©2005 Kristen Productions