The Amazon rainforest is falling to pieces — deep cracks intrude ever farther into old growth forest, while devastating wildfires spring up to consume degraded fragments. This shattering, occurring over decades, is the result of an aggressive modern human economic invasion, as the once continuous tropical foliage is supplanted by roads, dams, cattle herds and soy plantations.
With the loss of forest habitat, the rich tapestry of rainforest species too is shredded, as individual species vanish and are replaced by more common, often invasive organisms. The Amazon’s giant anteaters are replaced by rats. The towering, and highly valuable, Brazil nut tree is replaced by weeds. Scarlet Macaws are ousted by vultures.