Ranger Report About Tropical Rainforest (in Costa Rica)

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1 1. Ranger Report About Tropical Rainforest (in Costa Rica) www. Therainforestrangers.com

2 About Rainforest Images by Jan Dwire A rainforest is an environment that receives high rainfall and is dominated by tall trees. A wide range of ecosystems fall into this category, of course, including the old-growth temperate forests of the Pacific Northwest but most people think about tropical rainforests (near the equator). Tropical rainforest get the same amount of sunlight all year long. Located in the middle of the earth, there isn t much of a tilt towards the sun at any certain time of the year. The weather stay consistent as well. It is called a rainforest because of the large amount of rain every year. In Costa Rica there is a three month dry season but it will still occasionally rain in those months. The temperature is also consistent throughout the year and rarely gets colder than 60F/16C. Tropical rainforests are the oldest and most diverse ecosystem on Earth. Today, tropical rainforests cover only 6 percent of the Earth's ground surface, but they are home to over half of the planet's plant and animal species. There are thousands of species yet to be discovered. When the trees are cut down, the animals and plants disappear. The entire eco-system is destroyed. Deforestation, mining (land and river), and pollution is threatening the few remaining tropical rainforests.

3 Did you know facts: 1. Trees grow to tremendous heights to 250F/76M and can live for hundreds of years. 2. Because there are so many unknown species in the rainforest, destruction of the area amounts to destroying a whole other planet. 3. There are different layers of the rainforest and different plants and animals in each area. The areas are Emergent, Canopy, Understory, and Forest Floor 4. More than 24% of the medicines used today come from plants originating in the rainforest. 5. The land in the rainforest isn t particularly suited for livestock or crops. 6. The rainforests are home to half of the Earth's plant and animal species. 7. They are winter homes to many birds that breed in temperate latitudes. 8. Tropical rainforests are some of the most beautiful wildernesses on our planet. 9. They are home to tribal cultures that have survived successfully in the forests for many thousands of years. 10.The forests are a potential source of medicinal plants that may benefit everyone on Earth. 11.The ecosystem of the rainforest is based on the most complex interdependence of plants and animals. This is both the forest's strength and its weakness: highly specialized organisms are particularly vulnerable to disturbance, because they cannot adapt fast enough to survive the change. 12.Tropical rainforests help maintain global rain and weather patterns. Much of the water that evaporates from the trees returns in the form of rainfall. Removal of the forest can change the natural rainfall patterns. www. Therainforestrangers.com

4 Emergent Trees as tall as skyscrapers with long, thin trunks. Large umbrella shaped leaves Harpy eagles, birds. butterflies, insets Canopy Trees grow up to 100F/33M. Trees protect the ground from rain and sun. Understory Young trees, shrubs, palms, plants that grow in shade. Forest Floor Spider Monkey, Sloths, birds, butterflies, Iguanas, snakes, leaf cutter ants, tree frogs, margay, howler monkey Only plants that need very little sun Tapirs, anteaters, jaguars, millipede

5 TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE 1. True or false: The rainforest is the third most diverse ecosystem on earth. 2. The rainforests are home to of the Earth's plant and animal species. A - one fourth B - half C - All 3. True or false: It rains more than six months a year in the tropical rainforest of Costa Rica. 4. What are the main causes threats to the rainforest? A - Deforestation (cutting trees for paper, pulp, lumber) B - Clearing the land for farming C - Mining for mineral for materials D - Pollution (water and air) E - All of the above 5. Put the rainforest layers in the proper order. T REE HEIGHT LAYER Canopy 95 Emergent 15 Forest Floor 125 Understory 55 ANSWERS 1. False 2. B 3. True 4. E 5. Emergent" 125 Canopy 95 Understory 55 Forest Floor 15 www. Therainforestrangers.com

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