About one per cent of all the rainforest in the world is lost every year. We know this because satellites give us a true picture of the rainforests. Satellite pictures tell us, for example, that between 1978 and 1988,170,000 square kilometres of rainforest in the Amazon were lost.
When roads are made through the rainforests, people start to destroy the forests very quickly. Look at the satellite picture taken in 1976. You can see the new road going through the rainforest. The second picture shows the same forest in 1981. The rainforest in this part of Brazil was destroyed very quickly.
Without the trees to protect the ground, the heavy rain quickly washes away the soil beside the roads.
The rainforests are rich in trees and animals, but the soil is not rich; it is very poor because it is very old and because the trees and plants contain all the good things that were once in the soil. Without the trees, the rain-washes away the soil and nothing can grow there again.
Look at the picture of Madagascar. Thousands of trees once covered these mountains, and thousands of animals lived there. Nothing can grow there now, and no animals can live there.
Are we going to destroy all the rainforests of the world? Perhaps one day you will travel to a rainforest country; but will you see the wonderful plants and animals of the rainforest?
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