How the Amazon Rainforest Fire Impacts Animals

Amazon Rainforest Fire

The Amazon Rainforest fire is still burning and it will have serious consequences for the climate. However, it is putting endangered animals at risk as well.

The Amazon Rainforest is home to many different species of animals, and these fires are going to destroy their homes.  According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), one-in-ten known species on earth resides in the Amazon.

These fires are putting animals in danger and putting extra pressure on endangered species.

Not Used to Fires

Naturally, it is uncommon for a fire to start in the Amazon, which means that the animals are not used to coping with the flames.  Considering that the majority of the fires are manmade makes matters worse because they are harder to contain.

Currently, it is impossible to know exactly which animals are suffering the most until scientists can asses the situation. However, animals will still not cope well with the blaze.

Animals that can move quickly will have a much easier time surviving in the short term, like Jaguars. However, less mobile animals will not be so lucky.  On top of this, the habitat destruction will leave many without a suitable home.

This will create long term problems and animal displacement is very challenging to correct.

Jaguars In Danger

While the jaguar is capable of escaping the fires, it will face a food shortage. On top of this, the jaguar was already threatened.

Ranchers, in particular, are the jaguar’s true enemy. Since they regularly attack livestock for food, they are often killed in the process. On top of this, the actual fires are caused by ranchers and farmers.

It is quite common to clear land for agriculture with fire, but due to the Brazilian government encouraging this behavior, the number of fires increased substantially in 2019.

This will shrink the jaguar’s habitat and reduce the amount of food they can hunt.

Giant Otters

Giant Otters

Of course, there are plenty of other animals that are in trouble. Even before these fires began, the giant otter was endangered due to the illegal fur trade.

While you may think that aquatic life would be safe from a fire, it’s the exact opposite. The ash from the burned trees makes its way into the water along with sediment. This will alter the oxygen levels in the water.

The flames will raise the water’s temperature rapidly, which is too much for fish to cope with. This will kill off the main food supply that the giant otter eats.

Plants Will Burn

Unlike animals, plants are stationary and have zero defenses against a fire. The Amazon Rainforest is home to over 40,000 unique plant species and they are all susceptible.

The destruction of the trees will allow more sunlight into the rainforest, which will make certain plant species unable to cope. Of course, trees that produce fruits will be missed.

These trees provide a much-needed food source to birds, monkeys, and other animal species.

Relief Is Needed

Since the fires are manmade, they are much harder to contain. And due to the volume of fires, Brazil does not have the resources to deal with it. Only additional aid will be able to remedy the situation.

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