cutting and burning trees
Why are scientists in Panama acting like Tarzan? Why are they climbing trees in the jungles of South America and Asia? It is well known that tropical rain forests all over the world are disappearing. People are cutting and burning them so they can use the land for farms. Unfortunately, they are also destroying wildlife that no one has ever seen, thousands of species that live at the tops of the trees. This is why groups of scientists are looking for ways to get to the top of these forests and study these species that live so high off the ground. But there is little time. The great trees are burning. Rain forests have already given us many things: coffee, cocoa, medicines like quinine, and no one knows what we will lose as the forests disappear.
It seems that man always needs more land. People want land so they can build houses and roads so they can have bigger farms. IN recent years there have been many projects to drain the marshes near rivers and lakes. Wet land is drained to make dry land. But marshes are needed, too. They are the natural habitat of many birds, animals, fish, plants. They are places where birds can find food as they fly from the cold north to warmer places in the wintertime. Then in the spring when the snow melts, much of the water stays in the marshes, and the rivers do not flood. Marshes also act like filters. This is nature’s way of keeping water pure.
When something like an oil spill happens and wildlife is in danger, we hear about it on television and read about it in the newspapers. But man is interfering with nature in many other ways that we hear little about.