Deforestation has a devastating effect on animals, leading to habitat destruction, increased predation risk, reduced food availability, and even extinction. Logging is especially damaging to rainforest ecosystems, as the lack of trees leaves the soil vulnerable to erosion. Furthermore, when forests are cleared, they emit carbon instead of absorbing it, contributing to global warming. Climate change can alter habitats and decrease food and water availability, forcing some species to migrate or face extinction.
In addition, deforestation can lead to land degradation and the loss of ecosystems worldwide. Humans have been using forests for fuel for thousands of years, and today 2.6 billion people still rely on wood and charcoal for cooking. Trees are also cut down for wood products, to make room for new buildings or roads, or to create agricultural or grazing land. Unfortunately, illegal extraction of wood from forests is still common for firewood.
Tropical rainforests are particularly vulnerable to deforestation due to their high species density. Covering only 2 percent of the Earth's surface, they are home to almost 50 percent of all plant and animal species. When species lose their homes in forests, they often cannot survive on the small fragments of forested land that remain. Intelligent land management practices must exist to ensure that viable forest resources remain in the future. Deforestation is a major threat to wildlife conservation efforts and has a long-term impact on the environment.
It is essential that we take steps to protect our forests and the animals that inhabit them.