Tropical rainforests are the richest of all terrestrial ecosystems, and occur in a band on either side of the equator in three main parts of the world – the Neotropics (Central and South America), equatorial Africa, and Southeast Asia, including New Guinea and a small area in Northeast Australia. Teeming with life, they play a vital role in the world’s weather systems and generate much of their own rainfall, through rapid transpiration of the water that falls on them.
For over 30 years I’ve been visiting and photographing the rainforests on every continent and have developed a good understanding of their ecology and the remarkable relationships between many of their species. This presentation provides a visually stunning and highly accessible introduction to these remarkable forests, and all the life that they support.
The talk focuses on many of the key elements of the rainforests, including obvious features such as the huge buttresses on some of the trees, the role and function of lianas and the remarkable lifestyle of strangler figs. It highlights the differences between the rainforests in the three main regions where they grow and the changes that occur in them at higher elevations. The wildlife is featured in high quality photographs, from monkeys and lemurs to brightly-coloured frogs, leaf-cutter ants and highly camouflaged geckos and insects.
The presentation also covers some of the indigenous people who still live in the rainforests, and the threats that these remarkable ecosystems face from unsustainable logging, conversion to cattle pasture and agriculture, mineral exploitation and the hunting of their animals for bushmeat and so-called medicinal products. It finishes by highlighting the fact that our generation is deciding the future of the rainforests and that we can all make a contribution to ensuring that they continue to thrive in the world.
If you would like me to give this talk to a group or at an event, please contact me.