The Amazon rainforest is the tropical, broadleaf forest which covers most of the 7 million km2/2.7 million mi2 drainage basin of the Amazon River in South America. Of this the forest covers 5.5 million km2/2.1 million mi2,or 79% of the basin (roughly the size of the continental US!) It stretches through nine countries (60% in Brazil, 13% in Chile, 10% in Ecuador, and smaller amounts in other countries) and 3344 indigenous tribal areas. However, in recent decades the existence of the rainforest, despite all its environmental and cultural importance, has come increasingly under threat from deforestation driven mostly by agriculture, particularly cattle farming.
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