Today most forest dwellers live in small settlements or practice nomadic hunting and gathering. In the past, tropical rainforests and surrounding areas supported great civilizations like the Mayas, Incas, and Aztecs that developed complex societies and made important contributions to science.

These great civilizations faced some of the same environmental problems (excessive forest loss, soil erosion, overpopulation, lack of water supplies) that we face today. For the Maya, the damage they caused to the environment apparently was great enough to cause their downfall.

 

Previous | Next

 

FAQs

  • May I use graphics from mongabay.com for my projects? Yes, you may provided that you don't remove the mongabay label from the images. You may use information from the site for class projects and can cite mongabay as the source.
  • Where can I learn more about rainforests? Check the main rainforest site.
  • Is this web site credible? Mongabay is the world's most popular source for information on tropical forests. The site is highly acclaimed by a number of the world's leading tropical scientists. See more answers at our frequently asked questions page.