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Australia's Rainforests

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Rainforest is the most diverse ecosystem on Earth yet it only covers 6% of the world's surface. A valuable resource for cultivated plants, many foods, raw materials and medicines, still each year over 20 million hectares are destroyed worldwide, logged for timber and cleared to plant crops and graze cattle. If this vital ecosystem is to survive, remaining areas of rainforest must be protected.

Australia is one of the few places in the developed world where rainforests are available for public enjoyment, global conservation and research.

Since the late 1700s much of Australia's rainforest, including 75% of its original tropical rainforest, has been cleared for agricultural, industrial and urban development. Today rainforest covers just 0.5% or 4.2 million hectares of Australia's landmass.

Every broad rainforest type is found in Australia, the driest inhabited continent on earth, where rainforests extend from the Kimberley region in Western Australia, across the Northern Territory to Cape York in Queensland and down the east coast through New South Wales and Victoria to Tasmania.

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