Skip to Content

How Many Tropical Rainforests Are There?

Dense tropical forest in the Chiew land lake.

One of my favorite facts about rainforests is that they’re cornucopias of life. According to, rainforests contain about 50% of all terrestrial biodiversity. But, how many rainforests are there to be able to harbor such a considerable amount of ecosystems?

Well, scientists don’t usually refer to the number of rainforests in the world per se. Instead, they talk more about the amount of rainforest coverage in the world.

Tropical Rainforests Vs. Temperate Rainforests

This article talks about how many tropical rainforests there are in the world. However, tropical rainforests are only one type of rainforest. Rainforests are mainly divided into tropical and temperate rainforests.

Both tropical and temperate rainforests are located between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. Rainforests are found on every continent, with the exception of Antarctica.

A portrait of a young woman standing beside the tree.

The main difference between tropical and temperate rainforests is that tropical rainforests are located closer to the equator, where the temperatures are warmer. On the other hand, temperate rainforests are found to the north and the south of the equator, along the cooler coastal regions. In addition, temperate rainforests have less biodiversity and receive fewer inches of rain per year.

For a rainforest to be classified as such, it must receive 60-80 inches of rainfall each year. Generally, a rainforest is defined as a forest that gets a lot of rainfall. In fact, it rains throughout the year in the tropical rainforest, and the environment is always hot and moist.

Another characteristic of rainforests is the four distinct layers.

  • Emergent layer. Emergents are the tall, giant trees that grow above the general canopy. Their height ranges from 70 to 100m.
  • Canopy layer. The canopy layer is the largest part of the rainforest, and the trees here also grow to be very tall. The canopy layer overlaps so much it creates a roof over the forest that prevents sunlight from reaching the forest floor.
  • The understory. The understory is a humid and damp level made up of smaller plants and trees, such as vines and palms. These plants have adapted to environments where there’s little sunlight.
  • The forest floor. The forest floor is dark, humid, and nutrient-rich. It contains a lot of leaves, twigs, and decomposing material.

How Much Land do Tropical Rainforests Cover?

An aerial shot of tropical rainforest of Cameron highlands Malaysia.

It’s pretty difficult to pinpoint the number of tropical rainforests in the world, whereas there are known to be seven temperate rainforest ecosystems in the world. The issue with tropical rainforests is that a single tropical rainforest can spread across different countries with only islands and sometimes deforested areas in-between. In addition, it may be difficult to estimate the number of tropical rainforests as it depends on the scientific definition of “rainforest.”

The best way to determine the number of rainforests in the world is to use coverage. Today, tropical rainforests cover 6% of the Earth’s surface or roughly 5-7 million square miles. However, this number is constantly dwindling.

For instance, in the past, rainforests used to cover up to 14% of the Earth’s surface. Since then, tropical rainforests have become endangered due to threats, such as deforestation. Rainforest trees are being cut down continually to produce timber and clear the land for farming.

Other human activities, such as mining and ranching, have also contributed to the loss of rainforests, which is expected to keep happening as human populations keep increasing. Since tropical rainforest coverage is declining at an alarming rate, it’s challenging to accurately estimate how much land tropical rainforests currently cover.

The Largest Rainforests In the World

Forest canopy in the Ecuadorian amazon viewed from the air.

As mentioned, tropical rainforests make up roughly 6% of the Earth’s surface. Let’s look at the largest rainforest in the world.

1. The Amazon Rainforest

The Amazon rainforest is by far the largest rainforest in the world (three times larger than the next largest rainforest), with coverage of roughly 2.6 million square miles. Over 60% of the Amazon rainforest is located in Brazil, but the rainforest also spans several countries, including Peru, Venezuela, Columbia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Suriname, and Guyana. The Amazon rainforest is also home to the Amazon river.

The jungles contain a significant amount – roughly one-tenth – of the Earth’s living species, including insects, mammals, birds, and plants. There are also indigenous people living in the Amazon jungle. To get a good idea of the size of the Amazon rainforest, it’s over half the size of the United States.

2. The Congo Basin Rainforest

The Congo Basin is the second-largest rainforest, but it’s still significantly smaller than the Amazon rainforest. It covers about 780,000 square miles though this coverage is rapidly shrinking due to deforestation caused mainly by agricultural activities. As the name suggests, this rainforest is located on the African continent, where it covers a bigger part of the Northern Congo.

In total, the Congo Basin spans nine central African countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Burundi, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Zambia. It’s home to the Congo River, hundreds of species of mammals and fish, as well as indigenous people.

3. New Guinea Rainforest

The New Guinea rainforest is found on the island of New Guinea, and it spans Papua New Guinea and Indonesia. The New Guinea rainforest is also part of the Australasian rainforest, which also includes other tropical rainforests located in northeastern Australia. However, the New Guinea rainforest constitutes the greater part of the Australasian rainforest.

As is happening with most rainforests, the size of the New Guinea rainforest is rapidly decreasing due to commercial logging and agriculture. But the area is still home to an estimated 5% of the world’s plant and animal species, such as kangaroos and wallabies.

3. Sundaland Rainforest

The Sundaland rainforest is also one of the largest rainforests in the world. The Sundaland rainforest spans several countries, including Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Brunei. This place is home to many species, including orangutans, elephants, and monkeys.

Primary forest loss has been happening in the Sundaland due to commercial oil and timber plantations.

4. Other Tropical Rainforests of Note

The following tropical rainforests deserve honorable mention.

  • Daintree Rainforest. This rainforest is named after Richard Daintree, a famous geologist, and photographer. It’s located in northeastern Australia, on the Queensland coast. This area is also home to the Daintree National Park and the Daintree River. The forest contains many ancient species of plants and many rare plant and animal species.
  • The Cardamom Mountains rainforests. This is one of the remaining rainforests in Southeast Asia, and it spans southern Cambodia and Thailand.
  • Bosawas Biosphere Reserve. The Bosawas Biosphere Reserve is located in northern Nicaragua.
  • Lacandon Jungle. This area of rainforest is located in southeast Mexico in the state of Chiapas, though it also extends to Guatemala. It’s home to Mayan culture and rich wildlife.
  • Costa Rican rainforests. These are located in North Central America in Costa Rica. Over half of the country is rainforest, which explains why Costa Rica has rich biodiversity and is a popular tourist destination.

Keep in mind that after ranking the Amazon and the Congo Basin rainforest as the first and second-largest rainforests, respectively, it becomes harder to rank the remaining tropical rainforests. Instead, it’s easier to consider which countries have the largest rainforest coverage. The list includes Brazil, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, Peru, and Colombia.

  • It’s Not Water: Pooph is totally fragrance free because it eliminates odor instead of covering it up! Pooph contains no harsh chemicals—it’s a proprietary mineral-based formula so clean and pure you could actually mistake it for pure natural spring water until you actually use it and see for yourself how miraculously it works!
  • Risk-Free Guarantee: Try POOPH for 30 days and if you aren’t happy, simply return it for a 100% no-hassle refund. Just send us a message via your Amazon order page and we’ll take care of the rest!
  • Instant & Safe: Instantly and safely freshens and dismantles puppy, dog, cat, pet, and litter urine and feces odors on a molecular basis – so they never return! Safe for people, pets, plants, and the planet!
  • Eliminates: Safely eliminates (doesn’t just cover up) urine, feces, vomit, and other pet odors that may invite your pets to defecate in the same spot over and over
  • No stains & Fragrance Free: Contains a clear, odorless, and non-staining formula that freshens and eliminates odors and will not stain carpets, clothing, toys, and more - use in every room in your house
  • PREMIUM QUALITY: A combination of premium texture and granule size made with 100% bentonite clay for maximum clumping creates litter particles that are just the right size.
  • LOW DUST: Ideal for cats and owners who suffer from allergies with a 99.9% dust-free and hypoallergenic litter formulation.
  • HARD CLUMPING: Hard clumping medium grain clay helps prevent moisture from reaching the bottom of the tray and forms hard clumps that won't break down, making it easier to scoop.
  • SUPERIOR ODOR CONTROL: Formulated for single or multi-cat households with natural ingredients to keep your home smelling clean and fresh between litter box cleanings.
  • LOW TRACKING: A unique formulation of medium grain clay helps keep litter in the box where it belongs.
  • FOUNDED IN 1987: Dr. Elsey’s is a veterinarian-owned cat product brand dedicated to creating products that solve the complex needs of pet owners. Founded in 1987 with the first all-natural clumping cat litter, Dr. Elsey’s line of products has since grown to include a variety of premium litters that address the health and behavioral needs of cats in every stage of life.
  • Open four-arm frame design protects the blade and does not trap dirt in the case
  • Lightweight case for easy handling and transport
  • Dual-material grip elevated above the reel prevents contact between reel and knuckles
  • Versatile folding end hook for use in multiple applications
  • Rewind reel tucks away for protection during storage
  • Gift Cards never expire and carry no fees.
  • Multiple gift card designs and denominations to choose from.
  • Redeemable towards millions of items store-wide at or certain affiliated websites.
  • Available for immediate delivery. Gift cards sent by email can be scheduled up to a year in advance.
  • No returns and no refunds on Gift Cards.
  • Gift Cards can only be used to purchase eligible goods and services on and certain related sites as provided in the Gift Card Terms and Conditions. To purchase a gift card for use on an Amazon website in another country, please visit:,,,,,,,,, or
  • ROLL ON: Our compact and convenient dog poop bag refill rolls help you keep poop bags where you need them–everywhere.
  • DURABLE & LEAKPROOF: Extra long, extra strong and 100% leak-proof guaranteed to keep hands clean on the go.
  • BETTER BAGS : A new generation of high quality & durable dog poop bags made from 65% certified post-consumer recycled plastic. Giving a second life to over 5 million pounds of landfill-bound plastic a year recycled plastic.
  • OUR MISSION: At Earth Rated, We are on a mission to make life with dogs simpler and better. We are also proudly B Corp Certified.
  • WHAT'S INCLUDED: This pack includes 270 lavender scented Earth Rated dog poop bags that measure 9"x13" on 18 refill rolls.
  • NO MORE HAIR EVERYWHERE: The ultimate pet hair roller for effective dog and cat hair removal. Far superior to traditional lint rollers for pet hair or sticky rollers, the ChomChom ensures deep cleaning.
  • CONVENIENT: Take the ‘fur’ out of ‘furniture’ once and for all! Ideal for cleaning couches, pillows, rugs, and more. Whether it's furniture, your car, or a carpet, this pet lint roller is an essential tool for all pet owners.
  • VERSATILE: Not just a dog lint roller, it's adept at cat hair removal too. The lint roller for pet hair extra sticky capability ensures every strand is picked up, leaving your spaces hair-free.
  • EASY TO USE: Just roll back and forth along any surface to trap fur and lint into the built-in receptacle. When you’re all done, just press down on the release button to open the pet fur remover and empty it out completely. Purr-fectly simple!
  • SUSTAINABLE - This reusable lint roller requires no adhesives or sticky tape, and can be used again and again.
  • Super High Bounce: Better than standard tennis balls, the Ultra Ball is made of durable rubber yielding an ultra bouncy, exciting fetch experience on land or on water thanks to lightweight, bouyant design. Compatible with size Medium Chuckit Launchers
  • Tough and Durable: This rugged dog fetch toy has a textured surface and a thick rubber core that can stand up to rough play yet is soft on dog's mouths. Not intended as a pure chew toy, always supervise your dog when playing with this toy
  • Sizing matters: Size medium measures 2.5" in diameter and is best suited for dogs weighing 20-60lbs. Dog balls should be small enough for your dog to carry, but large enough that the ball can't completely fit in their mouth. When in doubt, buy a size up
  • Make Fetch Happen: Chuckit Performance toys are designed with you and your dog in mind; Try our full range of indoor and outdoor interactive dog toys including tumblers, flyers, fetch toys, other balls for dogs and more
  • ChuckIt Fetch Pet Toys: Chuckit makes indoor and outdoor dog toys that enrich the human-animal bond and helps dogs and puppies stay engaged. Try our full line of ball launchers, puppy toys, flying discs, tennis balls for dogs, dog chew toys, and more
  • Contains one (1) 40 ounce package of small dog treats with real bone marrow (packaging may vary)
  • The dog biscuit shell encases a real bone marrow center, delicious treats that you can feel good about giving
  • Crunchy on the outside and meaty on the inside, our MaroSnacks dog snacks are a satisfying combo of texture and mouthwatering flavor
  • Savory treats with calcium, perfect for dogs of all sizes
  • Baked with love in Buffalo, New York, USA, with colors from natural ingredients only

The Black Friday Deals