The Most Endangered Species of the Amazon Rainforest
The Amazon Rainforest is home to many unique animals and plants. Even though this biome has a rich biodiversity, many of its species are considered endangered. This is because of the ongoing developmental activities that have significantly reduced the number of animals and plants in this habitat. The following are some of the endangered species of the Amazon rainforest:
- Golden Faced Lion Tamarin Monkeys. The Golden faced lion tamarin monkey is the tiniest monkey in the world. It is the size of a squirrel and is covered in long, reddish brown silky fur. They feed on flowers, fruit and insects. They also sap gum and nectar from flowers, plants and trees. These monkeys are carnivorous and sometimes eat frogs, lizards and snails. They are hunted down for their silky fur hence considered an endangered species. Scientists and researchers speculate that there are only 800 golden faced lion monkeys in the world.
- Poison Dart Frog. The poison dart frog is one of the rarest amphibians on earth that is found in the Amazon rainforest. Though colorful, these frogs are highly poisonous and produce toxic substances from their flesh. They feed on ants, termites, crickets and fruit flies. They can be found near the Amazon River and are considered endangered species because their natural habitat is at risk of massive destruction.
- The Harpy Eagle. The Harpy Eagle is considered one of the most powerful and largest species of eagles in the planet. These animals feed on animals such as monkeys and sloths. They also feed on different birds and reptiles. It lives in nests made up of twigs and is considered endangered because most of its habitat is being destroyed. It is also hunted down.
- The Jaguar. The jaguar is the biggest cat in the world. It is also the only animal in the panther family that lives in South America. This jungle cat looks very similar to the leopard. However, the jaguar is more stout and shorter in length as compared to the leopard. It cannot run as fast as the leopard and as such sneaks upon its prey before pouncing on it. Jaguars are mostly hunted down for their beautiful fur and experts estimate that only 150,000 of these animals are remaining.
- Hyacinth Macaws. These birds are a species of parrots. They thrive in the Amazon Rainforest because of their feeding habits. Their tough beaks can easily break the hard nuts found on trees growing in the forest. They also have strong feet that hold on to different branches of the trees. Hyacinth macaws are very social animals that live in large groups of 10-30 birds. They are endangered because the nut trees which they depend on for food are being cut down. Additionally, many of these birds are being captured by hunters and sold as domesticated pets.
- Three-Toed Sloth. The three-toed sloth is one of the few animals that rarely move. These animals spend most of their time hanging upside down like bats and can sleep for up to 20 hours. Experts state that the male sloth may live in one particular tree for their entire life. These animals have a hard time controlling their body temperatures and hence thrive in the tropical rainforest of the Amazon. They are endangered because their habitat is being destroyed through deforestation.
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