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Rainforests are special places. Strung around the globe across five continents, they are natural cathedrals on the grandest scale, their lush, humid precincts not only places of great beauty but also home to more than fifty per cent of the world's known wildlife species. This is biodiversity at its most dramatic: a bewildering variety of plants, birds, mammals and invertebrates depend on the rainforest environment, with the total number of species continuing to grow almost daily as scientists make constant new discoveries. Yet, while we still have so much more to learn about rainforests, they are disappearing – cleared and burned, thanks to human greed for land and demand for timber and other forest resources.
In Rainforest Safari, James Parry explores these extraordinary landscapes with reference to 25 sites, and reveals the fascinating range of wildlife they support. The book looks at the various types of rainforest, at their different ecosystems and at the diverse features that make them such exciting places to visit. Rainforest Safari also looks at the human dimension of rainforests: at the indigenous peoples whose way of life is firmly rooted in the forest ecosystem, at the devastating impact of uncontrolled deforestation and other forms of exploitation, and at the conservation work now under way to try and save what is left of these unique habitats.
In the final chapter, Rainforest Safari takes a forward view, assessing what the future may hold for rainforests, especially in view of their value in the battle to stem climate change.
- A Background to Rainforests
- Africa (6 sites)
- Asia (7 sites)
- Australasia (3 sites)
- North America (2 sites)
- Central, South America (6 sites)
- The Future for Rainforests
James Parry has travelled in search of wildlife for over 20 years. Following university expeditions to the Mediterranean and Kenya, a career with the British Council took him to Ethiopia, Borneo and the Empty Quarter of Arabia. He has studied wildlife in all continents and in a wide variety of different habitats, and is the author of Global Safari and several books for the National Trust on natural history and landscape. James lives in King's Lynn, East Anglia.