The Amazon: A Fortress for Life on Earth Is Burning

Under threat: 34 million people; more than 1,500 bird species; 550 reptiles; 500 mammals; and a forest that stores up to 200 gigatonnes(GT) of carbon

Photo credit: ©Flavio Forner
Photo credit: Michael Goulding/WCS

“Intact forests are extremely important to life on earth: They absorb a quarter of total carbon emissions annually in an enormous natural sink, and store far more than degraded forests. The forests of the Amazon sequester a quarter of this sink.”

Photo credit: Néstor Roncancio/WCS

“It is clear from official government reports and studies by environmental organizations, that in recent years burns have increased due to pressures to convert land for extensive agriculture, livestock or simply land grabbing.”

Photo credit: ©Walter Wust.

WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature.