What Countries Contain the Amazon Rainforest?


The Amazon rainforest lies in nine South American countries: Peru, Brazil, Venezuela, Ecuador, Colombia, Guyana, Bolivia, Suriname and French Guiana. The Amazon rainforest covers more than 1 billion acres of land, and contains the Amazon River, which originates in the Andes of Peru and ends halfway down the South American continent. The Amazon produces more than 20 percent of oxygen on Earth, and it supports a large volume of biodiversity.

The Amazon rainforest contains approximately 10 percent of all animal species on Earth and 20 percent of the world’s birds. Thousands of insects live within the borders of the Amazon as do larger mammals and reptiles, such as jaguars, anacondas and cougars. Although the Amazon enjoys a wet and humid climate much of the time, it occasionally experiences dry spells and droughts. In 2005 and 2010, the Amazon endured long periods without rain, which primarily impacted vegetation.

The Amazon covers land in nine countries, but lies primarily in Brazil. More than 50 percent of the Amazon falls within the borders of Brazil, along with the Amazon River and its river basins. The Amazon contains four distinct layers of forest that support different types of life. The canopy, or main layer, contains flowers and fruits. Birds live in the uppermost canopy, while ground-dwelling animals live on the forest floor.