A place to call home for animals and plants
Tropical rainforests took between 60 and 100 million years to evolve and are believed to be the oldest and most complex land-based ecosystem on earth, containing over 30 million species of plants and animals. That's half of the Earth's wildlife and at least two-thirds of its plant species! Because most tropical rainforest grows in warm and steamy environments, it contains a huge variety of plants. One hectare of lowland rainforest may contain 1000 trees with up to 300 species. Compare this to the UK's forests which are likely to have only 5-10 species per hectare: that's 30 to 60 times more species in a hectare of rainforest! These plants in turn provide food and shelter for many rare animals that depend on the rainforest for their survival. There are many more thousands of rainforest plants and animals species still waiting to be discovered.