Plants and animals are important because they contribute, even if in a very small way, something of value to something else. Each living organism is part of a balance within its ecosystem. The plants and animals of the rainforest are very important for several reasons. The survival of the rainforest is extremely important to the Earth due to the functions that it performs. The animals and plants are important to the rainforest as they contribute to the way it works, without them there would be no rainforest ecosystem. Many of the plants and animals in the rainforest are endemic to it, which means that they are unique to their area. Because endemic species live in a specific area they can become more easily extinct, which means that they no longer exist.
The more animals and plants we lose, the fewer there are to contribute to individual ecosystems. The more individual ecosystems are damaged, the greater the negative effects to the Earth's environment as a whole.
Each plant and animal in the rainforest brings something to the rainforest environment that another plant or animal will rely on. This creates a balance of life in the rainforest that includes all living things. In this delicate balance, both the plant and animal species inhabit different layers of the rainforest. There is no dominant species in a tropical rainforest. This factor contributes to the extraordinary biodiversity that exists and prevents one species from taking over.
The Amazon rain forest contains one-third of all the species in the world. This makes the rain forest the most precious biological area in the world. Without the Amazon Rain forest, the habitat of all those species that rely on it would be lost. Among other things, the Amazon is the home of the endangered jaguar and approximately 1200 species of butterfly. One-fifth of the world's bird population lives in the Amazon rain forest.