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.
View this post on Instagram
On #AmazonDay we should be celebrating the incredible Amazon Rainforest and the unique benefits it brings to our planet. And yet today, we are seeing the #Amazon burn and we need your help to #ActForAmazonia (link in bio) The #AmazonRainforest contains 10% of the world’s biodiversity, as well as roughly 100 billion tonnes of carbon locked up in its plants and trees. But if it continues to burn, this rich #rainforest ecosystem could be pushed to the brink of collapse. WWF is united to help affected countries respond to this environmental tragedy. We are: ?Supporting needs for medical support, fire-fighter training and security among local and indigenous communities, in collaboration with expert local partners. ? Working with local governments on procedures for fighting fires and deforestation. ?Continuing wildlife monitoring and rescue & recovery care projects. ? Campaigning for action from governments.
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.”