In the past 50 years, we caused more damage to our planet than by all previous 200.000 years of mankind. More specifically, deforestation is wiping out natural habitat in an alarming way. Just one example: drastic loss of jaguar habitat and its population.
In the 1950's, the jaguar habitat covered 25 million km2.
In 2010, jaguar habitat has shrunk to 9 million km2.
That is just 35% left!
Even in the seventies, jaguars' habitat ranged from California in the USA all the way to Argentina. In just 30 years, over 60% of all rainforest, including the flora and fauna has been erased.
Did you know that each year a piece of the Amazon rainforest 500 times the size of Manhattan Island is being destroyed?
From the estimated 350,000 jaguars in the 1950's, there are only 10,000 jaguars left, of which only an estimated 600 black jaguars!
That is just 3% left!
In the 60's and 70's, over 15,000 jaguars per year were hunted and killed. Reason: mankind needed to convert forest land for agricultural land. In addition they were killed for their beautiful fur.
Though hunting jaguars is officially illegal nowadays, the killing of jaguars continues! Farmers neglect the law and hire professional jaguar hunters when their cattle is attacked. As top predators, jaguars are essential in order to sustain balanced ecosystems.
The pristine Amazon rainforest and the Cerrado savanna areas of Brazil cover 9 million km2 and are essential to the survival of the human species. These dense forests, grasslands and rivers are directly responsible for
20% of our planetís oxygen
30% of our planetís fresh water
25% of all the westís modern medicines
The Amazon rainforest has been described as the "lungs of our planet" because it provides the essential service of continuously recycling carbon dioxide into oxygen.
Healthy forests are indispensable to a healthy planet. Forests regulate the water cycle and protect the soil. By absorbing and trapping large quantities of carbon dioxide and recycling the oxygen in the atmosphere, they contribute to climate balance. They offer a habitat for flora and fauna and supply medicinal products for human use.