The forest of the Brazilian Amazon awakens to the pitter-patter of raindrops and dozens of bird species contribute to the chorus. Amazonia boasts the richest biodiversity of any ecosystem on the planet, with at least 10 percent of the world’s known species of wildlife. This ecosystem is vital to all life on Earth, as it absorbs roughly 2.4 billion metric tons of carbon annually — equivalent to taking more than 500 million cars off the road for a year. But this rainforest is shrinking fast: More than 15 percent of the Amazon has been deforested since the 1970s; that adds up to twice the size of California.
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