Rainforests are forests which grow in areas of high rainfall.  Tropical rainforests are found between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn and receive between 175-200 cm of rainfall a year.

Introduction

Rainforest - Samaipata, Bolivia © Emma Brice

Rainforests nearest to the equator, where the climate is very hot and wet all through the year, are evergreen because the trees can grow all of the time and so are always in leaf.  They are found in South and Central America, Central Africa, Indonesia, Malaysia and the north eastern tip of Australia.

Rainforest MapThere are other, temperate rainforests in areas such as the northwest Pacific coast of America, in the cooler parts of Central America and India.. These are much cooler, but experience very high rainfall during the wet  season. The rainforests in these areas are deciduous and the trees lose their leaves during the dry season.

Cloud forests are yet another type of rainforest, so-called because they can be found high up mountains, where they are nearly always in cloud. The climate here is very cool but extremely wet.

The world’s largest remaining tropical rainforest is the Amazon which covers countries such as Argentina, Peru, Paraguay and Uruaguay but the majority, 60% of the Amazon, lies in Brazil.  The second largest is in central Africa in the Congo Basin where two-thirds are found in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Read More: Why are Rainforests Important?

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