Image # 724
Paddling Dugout Canoe Through Virgin Tropical Rainforest
Rainforests that had never been cut towered impressively over native men paddling a canoe from one village to another on the Karawari River, a tributary of the mighty Sepik River. All dugout canoes on the Karawari River had the head of the deeply feared salt water crocadile carved into the front end. Since these crocadiles can reach ten meters in length this degree of respect is not at all surprising from men standing just inches above the water. 1979. Tropical rainforests are one of the most biologically diverse and ecologically interlinked habitats on earth, but they are under serious pressure from expanding populations and incompatible land uses. Rainforest soils are notoriously poor in nutrients. When land is cleared, fires are often set to release the nutrients trapped in the biomass of the trees. But because the soil is rapidly depleted of nutrients, most cleared land sustains only a few years of crops.