The Amazon rainforest fires have increased the threats faced by 265 endangered species of plants and animals, according to the WWF.
The forest, which is home to around one million indigenous people and three million species of plants and animals, has seen a record number of fires this year according to the National Institute for Space Research (Inpe), which detected 72,843 blazes between January and August.
The WWF says ‘the worst of the forest fires are likely still ahead’, increasing the threat to species including the giant anteater and the giant armadillo, along with 124 species that only occur in the Amazon.
Many conservations and scientists have pointed the finger of blame for the fires at Brazil’s far-right populist president Jair Bolsonaro, who pledged to develop the region for farming and mining when he took office in January, despite the warnings of conservationists around deforestation.
Now the WWF is calling on politicians and corporations to take responsibility and try to protect the forest and its inhabitants. Mauricio Voivodic, executive director of WWF-Brazil, said: “We need to protect and maintain healthy and productive forests. There needs to be a clear signal from the government and society that Brazil no longer accepts the destruction of its main biological heritage.
“The federal government should ensure that protected areas and indigenous lands are effectively protected from illegal occupations and activities. The corporate sector also has an important role to play in monitoring its supply chains to ensure the purchase of deforestation-free products.”