Wonders of the Rainforest

Written by: Callie

Posted on September 9, 2013

Rainforests have lots in common with motherhood and apple pie. Every right-minded person, it would seem, is in favour of them.

Their list of credentials is indeed impressive. As vast stores of biodiversity and carbon or generators of oxygen and freshwater, the role that rainforests play in our planet’s future is difficult to overstate. And when it comes to being the poster child of the green movement, perhaps only the polar bear can compete with the tree frog.

Rainforests only cover 6% of the world’s land surface but contain more than 2/3 of its biodiversity. Peru, as one of the world’s ten “megadiverse” countries, contains 760 endemic animal species and is second and third in the world for bird and mammal biodiversity respectively.

CO2Count is supporting Cool Earth’s Ashaninka project in the Ené Valley of central Peru. Our Ashaninka project is protecting the habitat of over 8,157 species – 19 of which are endangered. Here we have our top three favourite creatures CO2Count is helping to protect.

THE JAGUAR

Jaguar-co2count-cool-earthNamed from the Native American word yaguar which means “he who kills with one leap” jaguars are the largest cats of South America. The fur of some jaguars is so dark that their rosette markings are almost indistinguishable. Their strong jaws kill their prey by crushing the skull. Jaguars are skilled swimmers and hunt fish, turtles and even caimans. Apart from habitat loss, their main threat comes from farmers and ranchers who generally shoot them on site.

SPECTACLED BEAR

spectacled-bear-cool-earth-co2countProviding the inspiration for Paddington Bear, the Spectacled Bear is South America’s only native bear. It is estimated that there are only 20,000 bears left.  It’s the continent’s largest meat eating animal, but in reality its diet can contain as little as 5% meat. The bear is shy and docile, often retreating up trees where it builds a platform to rest and eat on.

COCK-OF-THE-ROCK

Cock-of-the-Rock-co2count-cool-earthThe Andean cock-of-the-rock is considered the national bird of Peru. The males have brilliant orange plumage and a large disc-like crest. It has one of the most elaborate mating dances of any animal, involving bobbing, hopping and making a variety of calls. Up to 12 males can dance at once to win the female. The females make nests under a rocky overhang, rearing the young on their own.