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

  • Forest fires are getting worse, 20 years of data confirm
    on August 17, 2022 at 7:35 pm

    - Fires are now causing an additional 3 million hectares (7.4 million acres) of tree cover loss per year than they did in 2001, according to a newly released Global Forest Watch analysis that examined fires that burn all or most of a forest’s living overstory trees.- The majority of all fire-caused tree cover loss in the past 20 years (nearly 70%) occurred in boreal regions. Although fires are naturally occurring there, they are now increasing at an annual rate of 3% and burning with greater frequency and severity and over larger areas than historically recorded.- Fires are not naturally occurring in tropical rainforests, but in recent years, as deforestation and climate change have degraded and dried out intact forests, fires have been escaping into standing tropical rainforests. GFW findings suggest fires in the tropics have increased by roughly 5% per year since 2001.- Researchers say there is no “silver bullet” solution for forest fires, but experts call for more spending on planning and preparation.

  • Amazon cloud forests need protection (commentary)
    on August 15, 2022 at 5:35 pm

    - Where the Andes meet the Amazon, you will find one of the earth’s richest and most important biomes but its role has been largely overlooked in our efforts to mitigate climate change impacts, argues Enrique G. Ortiz of the Andes Amazon Fund.- After 40 years working in tropical forests, Ortiz says the Amazon cloud forest is his favorite type of forest. In this commentary, he makes the case for why their protection should be a priority for conservation efforts.- This article is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily of Mongabay.

  • Amazon deforestation on pace to roughly match last year’s rate of loss
    on August 12, 2022 at 12:54 pm

    - Deforestation in Earth’s largest rainforest is on track to rival last year’s 15-year-high according to data released today by the Brazilian government.- INPE, Brazil’s national space research institute, today published figures from its DETER deforestation alert system, which tracks forest clearing on a near-real time basis. INPE’s system detected 8,590 square kilometers of deforestation between August 1, 2021 and July 31, 2022, 2.3% lower than the previous year, when deforestation hit the highest level since 2006.- The area of forest affected by degradation and selected cutting, which is typically a precursor to outright deforestation, climbed 15.6% year over year.- 2022’s tally represents an area nearly the size of Puerto Rico or Cypress. But the actual area of forest loss over the past 12 months is significantly higher: INPE is expected to release its findings from analysis of high resolution satellite imagery in October or November.

  • Violence persists in Amazon region where Pereira and Phillips were killed
    on August 2, 2022 at 4:52 pm

    - Armed illegal gold miners on July 15 threatened government rangers near the site where British journalist Dom Phillips and Brazilian Indigenous expert Bruno Pereira were killed in June.- Days after the threats, federal prosecutors charged three men in the killing of Phillips and Pereira, but activists and lawmakers say the investigation needs to be expanded to identify the possible involvement of criminal organizations.- Activists say threats against government officials, including Pereira, have happened for decades, but that the situation has grown dire under President Jair Bolsonaro.- The government’s weakening of environmental agencies and Bolsonaro’s anti-Indigenous rhetoric have created a sense of impunity, emboldening criminals in the Amazon to retaliate against activists and environmentalists who expose their illicit activities, experts say.

  • As roads and railways threaten primates, Brazil is a global hotspot
    on August 2, 2022 at 9:19 am

    - A study mapping out the regions of the world where primates face the greatest risk from infrastructure such as roads, railways, power lines and pipelines has identified Brazil, Thailand, Indonesia and China atop the list.- Of the 512 known primate species, 92, or 18%, are directly affected by roads and railways; threats come from vehicle impacts as well as the “barrier effect” that the infrastructure poses, limiting the mobility of tree-dwelling animals.- Some 25 million kilometers (15 million miles) of roads and railways are expected to be built by 2050, of which 90% will be in less-industrialized countries, including tropical regions that are home to rich primate diversity.- Nearly 200 million hectares (almost 500 million acres) of tropical forest have been lost over the past 20 years in regions where primates live, with Brazil’s Atlantic Forest and the Amazon considered high-priority areas for mitigation and preservation measures.

Spanish

Amazonia

Brazilian Portuguese

Amazonia