Amazon rainforest monitoring

This micro-site aggregates data on deforestation in the Amazon from several sources. The most timely data comes from Brazil: specifically Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) and Imazon, a Brazilian NGO.

Narrative context on these issues can be found at Mongabay’s Amazon rainforest section as well as Mongabay’s regular news reporting on the Amazon in English, Brazilian Portuguese, and Spanish. Recent headlines from these sites can be found at the bottom of this page.

Sections

This site is organized into sections:

Annual data

Official PRODES data showing annual deforestation (Aug 1-Jul 31 year) in the Brazilian Amazon since 1988.

Recent news on monitoring deforestation in the Amazon rainforest

English

  • Repeated fires are silencing the Amazon, says new acoustic monitoring study
    on May 26, 2022 at 8:48 am

    - Researchers recorded thousands of hours of sounds in areas that had been logged, burned once and burned multiple times along the “arc of deforestation” in the Brazilian Amazon.- In the forests with repeated fires, animal communication networks were quieter, with less diversity of sound than in logged forests or forests burned only once. This type of acoustic monitoring can be used as a cost-effective way to check the pulse of the forest.- The authors were surprised to find that insects, not birds, were the most obvious signal of forest degradation. Additionally, they found that amount of biomass in a forest doesn’t correlate with the level of biodiversity.- There’s a major difference in the biodiversity of a forest after one burn versus multiple burns, one author said, so protecting forests from repeated fires is still worthwhile.

  • Meet the 2022 Goldman Environmental Prize Winners
    on May 25, 2022 at 7:31 am

    - This year marks the 33rd anniversary of the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize, which honors one grassroots activist from each of the six inhabited continents.- The 2021 prize winners are Alex Lucitante and Alexandra Narvaez from Ecuador; Chima Williams from Nigeria; Julien Vincent from Australia; Marjan Minnesma from the Netherlands; Nalleli Cobo from the United States; and Niwat Roykaew from Thailand

  • Caribbean incursion into Amazon sparked a flurry of life, with lessons for the future
    on May 24, 2022 at 9:42 pm

    - The vast wetland that used to sit in the heart of where the Amazon lies today received a more recent pulse of seawater than previously thought, a new study confirms — a phenomenon that contributed to the region’s species richness, including its iconic river dolphins.- The study also says the likeliest source of these marine incursions, some 23 million to 8.8 million years ago, was the Caribbean Sea, with the water surging inland down what is today the Orinoco River Basin in Venezuela.- Researchers say investigating the distant past of the Amazon can yield clues about its near future, given that the late Miocene was a period of global warming, with temperatures far higher than the 2°C (3.6°F) rise that the Paris Agreement is trying to prevent.- But the current rate of global warming is taking place on an exponentially shorter time scale, and combined with record rates of fires and deforestation, it gives animal and plant species no time to adapt, scientists say.

  • Stained by oil: A history of spills and impunity in Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Bolivia
    on May 23, 2022 at 11:28 am

    - The reporting alliance ManchadosXelPetróleo (StainedByOil) tracked down government records of oil spill cases and fines against companies working in the Amazon of Peru, Colombia, Bolivia and Ecuador between 2011 and 2021. In Colombia, information was also requested for the Orinoquía.- One constant in the investigation was a lack of information and transparency, especially in Bolivia, Ecuador and Colombia.- The database constructed from government documents revealed there were at least 282 cases against 72 oil companies in Peru and Colombia, and that around half have been fined for more than $55 million.- In all four countries, oil lots overlap with Indigenous territories and protected areas. There are 1,646 communities and 52 protected areas that partially or completely overlapping with extractive activities.

  • Researchers compile largest-ever photo database of Amazon wildlife
    on May 20, 2022 at 10:27 am

    - Researchers have compiled more than 154,000 records of camera trap images form the Amazon Rainforest, recording 317 species of birds, mammals and reptiles.- This is the first study to compile and standardize camera trap images from across the Amazon at this scale, and covers Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela.- The authors say this camera trap data set opens up opportunities for new studies on forest fragmentation, habitat loss, climate change, and the human-caused loss of animals “in one of the most important and threatened tropical environments in the world.”

Spanish

Amazonia

Brazilian Portuguese

Amazonia