8 Effects of Deforestation on Animals - Environment Go! (2023)

animals are affecteddeforestationin different ways. This leads to habitat destruction, increased risk of predation and reduced food availability, among other things.

As a result, many animals die, some lose their habitat and others lose their food supplies. In fact, deforestation is one of the main causes of species extinction.

Let's take a look at how deforestation affects animals.

8 Effects of Deforestation on Animals - Environment Go! (1)


What is deforestation?

The complete removal of trees or other vegetation from the land is called deforestation. It can be caused by eithernatural disasterssuch as forest fires and human activities such as agriculture and logging. It adversely affects many species due to habitat loss and fragmentation.

But that's not all. Degradation and/or fragmentation of forests has the same impact on animals. Examples of forest fragmentation are the reduction of an undisturbed forest area or the creation of gaps in a formerly contiguous forest.

There will be less housing, increasing competitiveness and the risk of disease transmission. In addition, they may have difficulty finding sufficient food due to changes in plant distribution and composition.

Forests lose their ability to provide ecosystem services when they are destroyed or are destroyed in a way that causes them. This process causes changes in soil structure, water flow patterns, plant communities, mammal populations, and other factors. The survival of the animals is significantly affected by these changes.

Why is deforestation affecting animals?

Wild animals need suitable habitats or places where they can live in peace and comfort. These are places where they rest, sleep, feed, reproduce, hide, and flee from predators. However, animals lose access to vital supplies and face new threats when we disturb these places.

What are the effects of deforestation on animals?

As a result, they can lose their homeland entirely or be expelled from their natural habitat. It has the power to alter the natural environment, destroying sources of shelter, water and food such as fruit trees.

In addition, soil erosion occurs, altering the environment and making foraging more difficult.

In addition, it exacerbates climate change by increasing greenhouse gas emissions.natural disastersThis makes it more likely that there will be flooding, which can alter the weather and water supply.

Threatened animal species may have stronger competition from other species and may be more vulnerable to predators that have also lost their natural habitat.

So deforestation has bothdirect and indirect effects, but the bottom line is the same: population decline and greater risk of extinction.

Here we will go into more detail about each one.

  • climate change
  • threat or extinction
  • loss of biodiversity
  • habitat loss
  • natural disasters
  • predators
  • interpersonal interactions
  • Hunger

1. Climate change

release of carbon dioxide and othersgreenhouse gasesDeforestation of forests previously trapped in trees and soil contributes directly to thisclimate change. Deforestation in tropical countries releases millions of tons of carbon dioxide every year.

This changes the weather, precipitation and temperature both locally and internationally. Animals can be forced to leave their home ranges when the climate has changed and they are unable to get what they need, such as food, clean water or shelter.

In addition, global changes can affect weather behavior in different regions of the world. For example, forest degradation in Central Africa has been shown to impact rainfall in the US Midwest.

In addition, species are finding it more difficult to adapt to climate change, which is one of the indirect effects of deforestation. Suitable habitats are disturbed by simple deforestation or partial forest degradation.

In addition, most tropical forest areas are now too fragmented for animals to escape the effects of climate change.

2.threat or extinction

The threat or perhaps extinction of animals is a result of deforestation. Animals in areas of significant deforestation are threatened with extinction or extinction.

The habitats of orangutans, chimpanzees, gorillas and pandas have been destroyedillegal logging and unsustainable forestry practiceswhich makes them critically endangered. These animals could soon no longer reproduce and die out.

3. Loss of biodiversity

The diversity of species in the habitat is decliningwhen living beings are uprooted and threatened with extinction. An ecosystem must be diverse to survive. It creates a natural balance between plants, animals, insects and bacteria.

When people remove thousands of trees from a forest, biodiversity decreases and new problems arise, even harming people. An ecosystem becomes unstable when a species disappears from it.

4.habitat loss

8 Effects of Deforestation on Animals - Environment Go! (2)

It goes without saying that by cutting down trees and other vegetation, less land is available for farming, food and shelter.

But what happens?

The pristine region where wildlife is found is considered suitable habitat and resembles small islands surrounded by disturbed land used for agricultural and other purposes.

As these environments are less suitable for maintaining large populations, genetic diversity is lost. Because there is less room for movement and reproduction, there is more competition between humans, which increases disease transmission, makes it harder for humans to find mates, and increases the likelihood of predation.

Wildlife eventually spreads into regions with poorer habitats, such as secondary forests. Furthermore, these regions will never be able to offer the same natural resources as primary forests, compounding the problem.

5. Natural Disasters

8 Effects of Deforestation on Animals - Environment Go! (3)

The ability of the surviving forest to withstand natural disasters such asBurntLubdroughtsis reduced by deforestation. For example, by holding water longer and releasing it more slowly, trees and other plants help control the flow of water.

Without that support, the hydrological cycle could change drastically, leading to much drier and hotter conditions. Just as tree roots reduce soil erosion, landslides are much more likely without them.

In addition, a degraded forest is more vulnerable to drought and other extreme weather conditions.

As a result, many species will experience higher mortality rates during these events. Because of this, some may lose their entire population, while others may not live long enough to reproduce.


As we saw above, degraded forest ecosystems are often deficient in vital nutrients. When there are few or no plants, there are no shade plants, fruit, seeds, or foliage. There is nothing to hide, eat or sleep.

The animals therefore have to live closer together, otherwise they are in danger if there is no vegetation cover. In any case, they are more vulnerable to predator attacks.

7. Interactions between people

Unsurprisingly, there are more encounters between humans and wildlife as there are fewer unmanaged forests and more people live in regions where animals once lived. Animals can try to cross roads and get hit by cars, or they can break free and roam around farms or towns where they must be killed for safety reasons.

Wildlife can usually avoid direct human contact as long as good forest areas remain. However, this becomes more difficult. However, if the last remnants are destroyed by human action, humans are now closer than ever. This often leads to conflicts, especially when hunting.

Deforestation also gives hunters access to previously inaccessible areas of the landscape.

(Incidentally, this can have detrimental effects on humans. For example, deforestation has degraded the overall status of animals in indigenous territories. Due to greater travel distances and less healthy prey, hunters have to work harder to obtain meat from some of their favorite species .)


Loss of biodiversity due to habitat loss leads to loss of food resources. Some species rely heavily on certain plants as a food source.

Elephants, for example, are almost entirely dependent on grasses for food; without them they will starve. Without a healthy tree nearby, there won't be much fruit for the monkeys to eat.

In addition, when one species becomes prey to another, larger species, the impacts are propagated down the food chain. If they don't starve, they can weaken and become susceptible to disease.

Animals aren't the only ones who die when we cut down forests. if we destroyrainforestWe also harm a variety of microorganisms as they are home to a wide variety of plants and animals.

For this reason, according to some estimates, 137 species are lost to deforestation every day.


As mentioned above, deforestation can have disastrous effects on wildlife. Then how can we stop it?

To answer this question, consider that this is an economic problem. The forest is cut down for various purposes such as subsistence farming or commercial use as it is more lucrative.

This makes most solutions extremely difficult. Consider recognizing indigenous territory. According to research, these regions administer their ownnatural resourcesbetter than other areas, with fewer species extinctions and less pollution.

However, political challenges often arise as many countries are reluctant to relinquish such rights and the associated potential for commercial exploitation.

Most available solutions - designating national parks and limiting agricultural expansion - have the same problem.

In addition, this problem is especially difficult to solve in tropical countries, for example, in countries of West Africa and Latin America. These nations often find that their only choice is to sell their resources to wealthy, developed nations like North America or Europe.

The only option, therefore, is to change the financial incentives.

How it goes?

They assure me that living forests are more valuable than dead ones.

We do this by rewarding them for their exceptional work storing large amounts of carbon.


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8 Effects of Deforestation on Animals - Environment Go! (4)

Providence Amaechi

Editor Already EnvironmentGo! | Providenceamaechi0@gmail.com |+ Posts

Passionate ecologist. Lead content author at EnvironmentGo.
I try to educate the public about the environment and its problems.
We have always been concerned with protecting nature and not destroying it.



8 Effects of Deforestation on Animals - Environment Go!? ›

It causes habitat destruction, increased risk of predation, reduced food availability, and much more. As a result, some animals lose their homes, others lose food sources – and finally, many lose their lives. In fact, deforestation is one of the main causes of extinction.

How does deforestation affect the environment and animals? ›

It causes habitat destruction, increased risk of predation, reduced food availability, and much more. As a result, some animals lose their homes, others lose food sources – and finally, many lose their lives. In fact, deforestation is one of the main causes of extinction.

What are 3 animals affected by deforestation? ›

Here are some of the most iconic animal species being threatened by global deforestation:
  • Orangutans. Orangutans, coming from the Malay language meaning “man of the forest,” share 96.4% of our human genes. ...
  • Sumatran Rhinos. ...
  • Chimpanzees. ...
  • Mountain Gorilla. ...
  • Giant Panda. ...
  • Pygmy Sloth. ...
  • Monarch Butterflies. ...
  • Bornean Pygmy Elephant.
Sep 23, 2021

How many animals will go extinct because of deforestation? ›

According to recent estimates, the world is losing 137 species of plants, animals and insects every day to deforestation. A horrifying 50,000 species become extinct each year.

Where do animals go after deforestation? ›

Animals that lose their native habitats are forced into new areas in search of shelter and food. When animals move to different parts of the forest they combine with populations already living in that space, increasing the number of animals occupying a relatively small area.

How is deforestation hurting animals? ›

Deforestation often causes habitat loss, which leaves animals in search of a new place to live. Wildlife may begin infiltrating urban areas, and the human response is to get rid of them one way or another. Additionally, deforestation increases the risk of poaching because animals are more out in the open and displaced.

How does deforestation affect environment? ›

If forests are cleared, or even disturbed, they release carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Forest loss and damage is the cause of around 10% of global warming. There's simply no way we can fight the climate crisis if we don't stop deforestation. We need to protect forests now more than ever.

Which animals does deforestation affect the most? ›

What is Deforestation and How Does It Affect Animals?
  • Orangutan. The orangutans are among the critically endangered animals due to deforestation. ...
  • Big Cats. Many species of big cats, including jaguars, lions, tigers, and leopards, are on the brink of extinction. ...
  • Pygmy Elephants. ...
  • Koala. ...
  • Monarch Butterflies.
May 27, 2022

What animals have gone extinct because of deforestation? ›

Amazing Extinct Animals Because of Deforestation
  • It takes about 75 million trees annually to make enough copy paper to keep American offices operating. Only about 30 percent of that paper is recycled. ...
  • Pygmy Racoons. ...
  • Darwin's Fox. ...
  • Black Spider Monkeys. ...
  • Saola. ...
  • Orangutans. ...
  • Borneo Pygmy Elephants.

How does habitat loss affect animals? ›

Habitat loss poses major welfare risks including preventing safe animal movement across the landscape, restricting expression of normal behaviours and denying animals' access to basic needs such as food, water and shelter. Other impacts include stress, injury, illness, pain, psychological distress and death [1, 2].

How many animals are affected by climate change? ›

Global biodiversity has declined alarmingly in half a century: more than 42,100 species are at a risk of extinction with climate change being responsible for many of these situations.

What is deforestation and its effects? ›

Deforestation can be defined as the large-scale removal of trees from forests (or other lands) for the facilitation of human activities. It is a serious environmental concern since it can result in the loss of biodiversity, damage to natural habitats, disturbances in the water cycle, and soil erosion.

How many animals are in the world? ›

Scientists have estimated that there is a total of 8.7 million animal species living on Earth, which means there are 7.5 million species yet to be discovered!

What do animals do after their habitat is destroyed? ›

Answer and Explanation: When an animal's habitat is destroyed they may have to migrate, find a way to adapt or become so threatened their population decreases. Habitat loss has a major effect on animals and their ability to thrive in a specific environment.

Where does deforestation go? ›

By far, deforestation is at its worst in the tropics,2 in particular within the tropical rainforests that are located within these regions. This is a cause for alarm, because tropical rainforests hold some of the richest biodiversity on the planet.

What will happen if deforestation continues? ›

If the current rate of deforestation continues, the world's rain forests will vanish within 100 years- causing unknown effects on global climate and eliminating the majority of plant and animal species on the planet. Deforestation occurs in many ways.

How many animals have died from habitat loss? ›

Many species simply cannot survive under the new conditions forced upon them when their habitats are altered by humans. Destruction of ecosystems has threatened 1 million species — 500,000 animals and plants and 500,000 insects — with extinction, much of which can be prevented with conservation and restoration efforts.

Why should we stop deforestation? ›

Preserving tropical forests helps protect the millions of plant and animal species—many of which have been invaluable to human medicine—that are indigenous to tropical forests and in danger of extinction. Keeping forests intact also helps prevent floods and drought by regulating regional rainfall.

How does deforestation affect the environment essay? ›

Significant effects of deforestation are climate change, soil erosion, global warming, wildlife extinction and underground water depletion. Besides, there are other consequences such as flooding, shrinking wildlife habitats, and reduced water quality.

When did deforestation become a problem? ›

Global deforestation reached its peak in the 1980s. We lost 150 million hectares – an area half the size of India – during that decade. Clearing of the Brazilian Amazon for pasture and croplands was a major driver of this loss.

How does deforestation cause climate change? ›

Deforestation refers to the purposeful clearing or thinning of trees and forests. When deforestation occurs, much of the carbon stored by trees is released back into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, which contributes to climate change.

Can animals cause deforestation? ›

Some 80% of global deforestation is a result of agricultural production, which is also the leading cause of habitat destruction. Animal agriculture — livestock and animal feed is a significant driver of deforestation, and is also responsible for approximately 60% of direct global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

How does deforestation affect soil? ›

Deforestation. Without plant cover, erosion can occur and sweep the land into rivers. The agricultural plants that often replace the trees cannot hold onto the soil and many of these plants, such as coffee, cotton, palm oil, soybean and wheat, can actually worsen soil erosion.

Why are animals going extinct? ›

Habitat loss is the primary cause of higher extinction rates. Other causes include habitat changes, over-exploitation of wildlife for commercial purposes, the introduction of harmful nonnative species, pollution, and the spread of diseases.

How many animals are going extinct? ›

There are now a total of 41,415 species on the IUCN Red List, and 16,306 of them are endangered species threatened with extinction. This is up from 16,118 compared to last year. If you like, you can also watch the Most Endangered Animals web story.

How many species are we losing per hour? ›

We're in the midst of the Earth's sixth mass extinction crisis. Harvard biologist E. O. Wilson estimates that 30,000 species per year (or three species per hour) are being driven to extinction.

How are animals affected by humans? ›

Habitat destruction, fragmentation, and modification caused by human-led activities (i.e., industrial and residential development, logging, crop farming, livestock grazing, mining, road and dam building, and pesticide use) have taken an extreme toll on threatened and endangered wildlife populations at an alarming rate.

What has damaged the ecosystem? ›

Extracting natural resources, polluting air and waterways and razing wild landscapes are some of the most damaging examples industrial destruction. These activities can destroy some or all of an entire ecosystem, wiping out the plants and animals that call these ecosystems home.

How does climate change affect animals? ›

Rising temperatures lower many species survival rates due to changes that lead to less food, less successful reproduction, and interfering with the environment for native wildlife.

How many animals will be left in 2050? ›

The sheer scale of the disaster facing the planet shocked those involved in the research. They estimate that more than 1 million species will be lost by 2050.

How many animals have died because of climate change? ›

Despite Pantanal encompassing the world's largest tropical wetlands and flooded grasslands, increasing temperatures and ongoing draught due to climate change have led to rampant wildfires, destroying the habitats of millions of animals and killing an estimated 16.952 million animals, the scientists say.

How climate change is causing animals to go extinct? ›

Habitat loss: Rising temperatures affect vegetation, food sources, access to water and much more. Ecosystems may become uninhabitable for certain animals, forcing wildlife to migrate outside of their usual patterns in search of food and livable conditions, while causing other animals to die off.

What are 6 negative effects of deforestation? ›

The loss of trees and other vegetation can cause climate change, desertification, soil erosion, fewer crops, flooding, increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and a host of problems for Indigenous people.

What are 5 harmful effects of deforestation? ›

Ill effects of deforestation:
  • Major climate change: Increase in temperature and pollution level.
  • Desertification and soil erosion.
  • Increase in the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
  • Decrease in groundwater level.
  • Loss of food and habitat of animals which leads to their extinction.

Why is deforestation an issue? ›

Deforestation and forest degradation are responsible for around 15% of all greenhouse gas emissions. These greenhouse gas emissions contribute to rising temperatures, changes in patterns of weather and water, and an increased frequency of extreme weather events.

How many animals are killed each year? ›

According to Stats of 2021, Annually Almost 83 Billion Animals Were Killed Worldwide (FAO)

What animals live to 20? ›

Record Mammal Life Spans (in captivity)
Name of AnimalLife Span
Deer (Mule)20
Deer (Whitetail)23
Dog (Domestic)20
47 more rows

Which animal is No 1 in the world? ›

Summary of the 11 Largest Animals in the World
1Blue WhaleOverall
3Saltwater CrocodileReptile
4Blue WhaleMammal
7 more rows
Apr 20, 2023

What happens when animals are gone? ›

As species go extinct, they are taken out of the food chain. Animals that ate the newly-extinct species have to find new food sources or starve. This can damage the populations of other plants or animals. Furthermore, if a predator goes extinct, its prey's population can proliferate, unbalancing local ecosystems.

How do humans destroy nature? ›

Humans impact the physical environment in many ways: overpopulation, pollution, burning fossil fuels, and deforestation. Changes like these have triggered climate change, soil erosion, poor air quality, and undrinkable water.

How many animal habitats get destroyed each year? ›

Approximately 30,000 species per year — about three per hour — are being driven to extinction. Approximately 80 percent of the decline in global biological diversity is caused by habitat destruction. Wildlife habitat in the world is being destroyed at a rate of approximately 5,760 acres per day or 240 acres per hour.

Where is deforestation the worst? ›

According to the FAO, Nigeria has the world's highest deforestation rate of primary forests. It has lost more than half of its primary forest in the last five years. The causes cited are logging, subsistence agriculture, and the collection of fuelwood.

How can we solve deforestation? ›

Save our Forests
  1. Plant a Tree where you can.
  2. Go paperless at home and in the office.
  3. Buy recycled products and then recycle them again.
  4. Buy certified wood products. ...
  5. Support the products of companies that are committed to reducing deforestation. ...
  6. Raise awareness in your circle and in your community.

Who is doing deforestation? ›

  • Agricultural commodity producers and traders. Companies that produce and trade palm oil, paper/pulp, rubber, timber, cattle, and soy, and have a past record or a significant risk of contributing to deforestation, land grabbing, and human rights abuses. ...
  • Banks and lenders. ...
  • Major consumer brands.

How many trees are cut down every day? ›

An estimated 15 billion trees are cut down each year—more than 41 million trees per day.

Why we shouldn't cut the trees? ›

The ecological balance will get disturbed, resulting in more frequent floods and droughts. The topmost fertile layer will be lost, resulting in reduced fertility and desertification with time. Wildlife will be affected, as the natural habitat provides shelter, food, and protection.

Is deforestation getting better or worse? ›

Global deforestation dropped by just 6.3 percent in 2021, leaving the world off track from its goals of ending forest loss by 2030 and limiting warming to 1.5 degrees C, according to a new report.

What is deforestation and why is it a problem? ›

Deforestation refers to the decrease in forest areas across the world that are lost for other uses such as agricultural croplands, urbanization, or mining activities. Greatly accelerated by human activities since 1960, deforestation has been negatively affecting natural ecosystems, biodiversity, and the climate.

What animals have died from deforestation? ›

What Animals Does Deforestation Affect the Most?
  • The Sumatran, Javan and Black Rhino.
  • Orangutans.
  • Gorillas.
  • Chimpanzees.
  • Pandas.
  • Pygmy Sloth.
  • The Bornean Pygmy and African Forest Elephant.
  • Leopard.
Jan 6, 2023

What is most deforestation a result of? ›

Three-quarters of deforestation is driven by agriculture. Most comes from the production of beef, palm oil, soy and logging industries.

What are the 7 negative effects of deforestation? ›

The loss of trees and other vegetation can cause climate change, desertification, soil erosion, fewer crops, flooding, increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and a host of problems for Indigenous people.

What are the positive effects of cutting down trees? ›

Removing one older tree often allows several smaller, younger ones to flourish. Younger trees also absorb more nitrogen than older trees, which helps clean an ecosystem's air and water. Cutting down older trees also creates room for planting new saplings.

How many trees are cut down each year? ›

How Many Trees Cut Down Each Year or in 2023? The Deforestation Crisis Explained. If you've ever wondered how many trees are cut down every year, the shockingly short answer is that more than 15 billion trees are lost annually to deforestation. While that number is staggering, it can be hard to visualize.

Why is deforestation bad for climate change? ›

When deforestation occurs, much of the carbon stored by trees is released back into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, which contributes to climate change.

How does deforestation affect the food chain? ›

Many more animals feed on organisms living within trees, or live within trees themselves. In this way, forests provide a habitat and source of food within many food chains, and deforestation could lead to an unbalancing of the food chain.

How are humans destroying animal habitats? ›

Major Kinds of Habitat Loss

Other ways people directly destroy habitat include filling in wetlands, dredging rivers, mowing fields, and cutting down trees. Habitat fragmentation: Much of the remaining terrestrial wildlife habitat in the U.S. has been cut up into fragments by roads and development.


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