Monitoring deforestation in the Amazon

This page collects deforestation alert data published by Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) and Imazon, a Brazilian NGO. INPE’s system is called DETER for Sistema de Detecção do Desmatamento na Amazônia Legal em Tempo Real, while Imazon’s system is called SAD for Sistema de Alerta de Deforestation.

As explained here, month-to-month deforestation is highly variable. Short-term, alert-based deforestation detection systems do not penetrate cloud cover, so during the rainy season — from roughly November to April — estimates are notoriously unreliable when compared to the same month a year earlier. Furthermore, most forest clearing in the Amazon occurs when it is dry. So if the dry season is early, deforestation may increase earlier than normal. For these reasons, the most accurate deforestation comparisons are made year-on-year. For Brazil, the deforestation “year” ends July 31: the peak of the dry season when the largest extent of forest is typically visible via satellite.

Short-term data isn’t useless though — it can provide insights on trends, especially over longer periods of time. Generally, comparing 12 consecutive months of alert data will provide a pretty good indication of deforestation relative to other years. Therefore the charts below include monthly data as well as the 12-month moving average (Trailing Twelve Months = “TTM”).

Last update: 2024-Feb-17

Table: Monthly deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon

Month DETER DETER TTM SAD SAD TTM
Apr 2008 1,124 156
May 2008 1,096 9,190 294 5,603
Jun 2008 871 9,064 612 5,716
Jul 2008 324 8,536 276 5,031
Aug 2008 757 7,835 102 4,470
Sep 2008 587 8,400 321 3,679
Oct 2008 541 8,457 102 3,257
Nov 2008 355 8,554 61 2,251
Dec 2008 177 8,013 50 2,233
Jan 2009 222 7,342 51 2,202
Feb 2009 143 6,925 62 2,201
Mar 2009 18 6,343 57 2,144
Apr 2009 37 6,214 121 2,109
May 2009 124 5,127 157 1,972
Jun 2009 578 4,155 150 1,510
Jul 2009 836 3,862 532 1,766
Aug 2009 498 4,375 273 1,937
Sep 2009 400 4,116 216 1,832
Oct 2009 176 3,929 194 1,924
Nov 2009 72 3,564 74 1,937
Dec 2009 3,281 16 1,903
Jan 2010 23 3,104 63 1,915
Feb 2010 185 2,905 88 1,941
Mar 2010 52 2,947 76 1,960
Apr 2010 52 2,981 65 1,904
May 2010 110 2,996 96 1,843
Jun 2010 244 2,982 172 1,865
Jul 2010 485 2,647 155 1,488
Aug 2010 265 2,296 210 1,425
Sep 2010 448 2,063 170 1,379
Oct 2010 389 2,111 153 1,338
Nov 2010 121 2,324 65 1,329
Dec 2010 21 2,372 175 1,488
Jan 2011 36 2,394 83 1,508
Feb 2011 1 2,407 63 1,483
Mar 2011 116 2,223 46 1,453
Apr 2011 477 2,287 298 1,686
May 2011 268 2,712 165 1,755
Jun 2011 313 2,871 99 1,682
Jul 2011 225 2,940 93 1,620
Aug 2011 163 2,680 240 1,650
Sep 2011 254 2,578 170 1,650
Oct 2011 386 2,384 102 1,599
Nov 2011 133 2,381 16 1,550
Dec 2011 75 2,393 40 1,415
Jan 2012 22 2,446 33 1,365
Feb 2012 307 2,432 107 1,409
Mar 2012 60 2,737 53 1,416
Apr 2012 233 2,681 71 1,189
May 2012 99 2,437 43 1,067
Jun 2012 108 2,268 35 1,003
Jul 2012 214 2,062 140 1,050
Aug 2012 522 2,051 232 1,042
Sep 2012 283 2,410 431 1,303
Oct 2012 277 2,439 487 1,688
Nov 2012 205 2,331 55 1,727
Dec 2012 131 2,403 82 1,769
Jan 2013 9 2,459 35 1,771
Feb 2013 270 2,447 45 1,709
Mar 2013 28 2,410 80 1,736
Apr 2013 147 2,378 140 1,805
May 2013 465 2,293 84 1,846
Jun 2013 210 2,659 184 1,995
Jul 2013 217 2,762 152 2,007
Aug 2013 289 2,766 185 1,960
Sep 2013 443 2,532 103 1,632
Oct 2013 155 2,692 43 1,188
Nov 2013 108 2,569 37 1,170
Dec 2013 93 2,472 56 1,144
Jan 2014 75 2,434 107 1,216
Feb 2014 119 2,500 11 1,182
Mar 2014 53 2,349 20 1,122
Apr 2014 166 2,374 100 1,082
May 2014 271 2,394 185 1,183
Jun 2014 535 2,200 843 1,842
Jul 2014 729 2,525 355 2,045
Aug 2014 890 3,036 437 2,297
Sep 2014 736 3,638 402 2,596
Oct 2014 298 3,931 244 2,797
Nov 2014 77 4,074 195 2,955
Dec 2014 85 4,043 95 2,994
Jan 2015 129 4,035 289 3,176
Feb 2015 61 4,089 42 3,207
Mar 2015 155 4,031 58 3,245
Apr 2015 334 4,133 137 3,282
May 2015 588 4,301 389 3,486
Jun 2015 855 4,618 494 3,137
Jul 2015 914 4,937 542 3,324
Aug 2015 654 5,122 415 3,302
Sep 2015 504 4,885 229 3,129
Oct 2015 377 4,653 230 3,115
Nov 2015 240 4,732 99 3,019
Dec 2015 89 4,896 175 3,099
Jan 2016 63 4,899 52 2,862
Feb 2016 534 4,832 0 2,820
Mar 2016 123 5,305 213 2,975
Apr 2016 436 5,274 183 3,021
May 2016 784 5,375 474 3,106
Jun 2016 1,431 5,571 972 3,584
Jul 2016 738 6,147 539 3,581
Aug 2016 1,025 5,974 582 3,748
Sep 2016 691 6,164 387 3,906
Oct 2016 750 6,364 202 3,878
Nov 2016 367 6,418 37 3,816
Dec 2016 17 6,162 0 3,641
Jan 2017 58 5,986 42 3,631
Feb 2017 101 5,971 0 3,631
Mar 2017 74 5,737 97 3,515
Apr 2017 127 5,437 96 3,428
May 2017 363 5,270 365 3,319
Jun 2017 609 4,928 537 2,884
Jul 2017 458 4,639 544 2,889
Aug 2017 278 3,892 184 2,491
Sep 2017 403 3,603 241 2,345
Oct 2017 440 3,293 261 2,404
Nov 2017 354 3,280 56 2,423
Dec 2017 288 3,551 184 2,607
Jan 2018 183 3,676 70 2,635
Feb 2018 146 3,721 214 2,849
Mar 2018 357 4,003 287 3,039
Apr 2018 490 4,366 217 3,160
May 2018 550 4,552 634 3,429
Jun 2018 488 4,432 1,169 4,061
Jul 2018 596 4,571 778 4,295
Aug 2018 530 4,823 545 4,656
Sep 2018 746 5,166 444 4,859
Oct 2018 526 5,253 187 4,785
Nov 2018 277 5,176 287 5,016
Dec 2018 67 4,955 246 5,078
Jan 2019 136 4,909 108 5,116
Feb 2019 139 4,902 93 4,995
Mar 2019 251 4,796 67 4,775
Apr 2019 247 4,554 195 4,753
May 2019 739 4,743 797 4,916
Jun 2019 935 5,190 801 4,548
Jul 2019 2,255 6,849 1,287 5,057
Aug 2019 1,713 8,032 886 5,398
Sep 2019 1,453 8,739 802 5,756
Oct 2019 555 8,768 583 6,152
Nov 2019 563 9,054 354 6,219
Dec 2019 190 9,176 227 6,200
Jan 2020 284 9,325 188 6,280
Feb 2020 186 9,371 102 6,289
Mar 2020 327 9,447 324 6,546
Apr 2020 407 9,607 529 6,880
May 2020 834 9,702 649 6,732
Jun 2020 1,043 9,810 822 6,753
Jul 2020 1,659 9,214 1,147 6,613
Aug 2020 1,359 8,859 1,499 7,226
Sep 2020 964 8,371 1,218 7,642
Oct 2020 836 8,652 890 7,949
Nov 2020 310 8,399 484 8,079
Dec 2020 216 8,425 276 8,128
Jan 2021 86 8,225 196 8,136
Feb 2021 125 8,163 179 8,213
Mar 2021 368 8,204 810 8,699
Apr 2021 580 8,377 778 8,948
May 2021 1,390 8,933 1,125 9,424
Jun 2021 1,061 8,951 926 9,528
Jul 2021 1,498 8,790 2,095 10,476
Aug 2021 918 8,350 1,606 10,583
Sep 2021 985 8,372 1,224 10,589
Oct 2021 877 8,413 803 10,502
Nov 2021 249 8,352 480 10,498
Dec 2021 87 8,223 140 10,362
Jan 2022 430 8,568 261 10,427
Feb 2022 199 8,642 303 10,551
Mar 2022 312 8,587 123 9,864
Apr 2022 1,026 9,033 1,197 10,283
May 2022 900 8,543 1,476 10,634
Jun 2022 1,120 8,602 1,429 11,137
Jul 2022 1,487 8,590 1,739 10,781
Aug 2022 1,661 9,333 1,415 10,590
Sep 2022 1,455 9,803 1,126 10,492
Oct 2022 904 9,831 627 10,316
Nov 2022 555 10,136 590 10,426
Dec 2022 229 10,278 287 10,573
Jan 2023 167 10,014 198 10,510
Feb 2023 322 10,137 325 10,532
Mar 2023 356 10,181 344 10,753
Apr 2023 329 9,483 336 9,892
May 2023 812 9,396 339 8,755
Jun 2023 663 8,939 361 7,687
Jul 2023 500 7,952 499 6,447
Aug 2023 563 6,854 568 5,600
Sep 2023 629 6,029 546 5,020
Oct 2023 435 5,559 290 4,683
Nov 2023 201 5,206 116 4,209
Dec 2023 177 5,154 108 4,030
Jan 2024 119 5,106


In August 2016, the table data for the DETER columns switches from DETER to DETER-B, Brazil’s new deforestation detection system.

  • Locals at the mouth of the Amazon River get a salty taste of climate change

    - Ocean rise and changes in the Amazon River are ruining the way of life in an archipelago close to where the Amazon River runs into the Atlantic.- In Bailique, locals are experiencing longer periods of salty water, a natural phenomenon that is becoming more usual due to climate change.- Açaí berries, the prime economic drive of the community, are becoming saltier, and palm trees are being eaten by the erosion caused by changes in the Amazon River’s flow.- Part of the population has already left the region, as others struggle to adapt to the new landscape.

  • To reverse deforestation and protect biodiversity, build a bioeconomy in the Amazon (commentary)

    - Slowing and reversing deforestation and land degradation in the Amazon requires not only conservation efforts but also increasing the economic value of standing primary forests through a bioeconomy approach, argues Robert Muggah, co-founder of Instituto Igarapé.- A bioeconomy involves regenerative agriculture, sustainable energy, and other activities that leverage the forest’s natural assets while ensuring economic benefits for local communities. However, the expansion of the bioeconomy faces challenges, including resistance from extractive sectors, investment risks, and the need for infrastructure, research, and support for local enterprises.- Despite these hurdles, advancing the bioeconomy is essential for sustainable development and decarbonization in the Amazon and crucial for the world, says Muggah.- This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the authors, not necessarily Mongabay.

  • Megafires are spreading in the Amazon — and they are here to stay

    - Wildfires consuming more than 100 square kilometers (38 square miles) of tropical rainforest shouldn’t happen, yet they are becoming more and more frequent.      - Because of its intense humidity and tall trees, fire does not occur spontaneously in the Amazon; usually accidental, forest fires are caused by uncontrolled small fires coming from crop burning, livestock management or clear-cutting.- Scientists say the rainforest is becoming increasingly flammable, even in areas not directly related to deforestation; fire is now spreading faster and higher, reaching more than 10 meters (32 feet) in height.

  • Brazil’s BR-319 highway: The danger reaches a critical moment (commentary)

    - A project to rebuild Brazil’s notorious BR-319 highway is quickly moving closer to becoming a fait accompli. Together with planned side roads, BR-319 would open vast areas of Amazon rainforest to the entry of deforesters. A working group convened by the Ministry of Transportation will soon release a report intended to justify approval of the project’s environmental license. Congressional approval of legislation to force granting the license is also looming.- Despite a constant political discourse claiming that governance will contain deforestation and tourists will admire the forest from their cars as they drive on a “park road,” the reality on an Amazon frontier is very different. Most of what happens once access is provided by road is outside of the government’s control.- The consequences of unleashing deforestation in the last great block of Amazon forest would be catastrophic for Brazil, threatening the water carried to São Paulo by the winds known as “flying rivers” and pushing global warming past a tipping point.- An earlier version of this text was published in Portuguese by Amazônia Real. It is a commentary and does not necessarily reflect the views of Mongabay.

  • Ecuador government weighs delaying closure of controversial ITT oil block

    - The government in Ecuador is considering ways to avoid closing the 43-ITT oil block, located inside Yasuní National Park in the eastern Amazon, despite the results of a national referendum last year to halt drilling.- Since opening in 2016, the operation has led to numerous oil spills and the construction of a road through the 82,000-hectare (202,626 acre) reserve, threatening biodiversity as well as Indigenous groups, many of them living in voluntary isolation.- But some officials have said closing the oil block needs to be delayed by at least one year to allow the national economy to respond to what could amount to billions of dollars in losses.

  • Critics decry controversial bill that loosens deforestation restrictions in Peru

    - On Jan. 10, Peru’s Congress approved a new amendment to the country’s forest and wildlife law, which loosens restrictions on deforestation and may affect the rights of Indigenous peoples, experts warn.- According to opponents of this amendment, this change in legislation could pave the way for a large expansion of deforestation across Peru’s forests, with the Amazon at risk.- Proponents of the bill argue that it will bring stability to the Peruvian agricultural sector and offer legal security to those dedicated to agricultural production.- A group of civil society organizations and lawyers have filed a motion with the Constitutional Court, arguing the new revision violated the Constitution.

  • Amazon catfish must be protected by the Convention on Migratory Species COP-14 (commentary)

    - The latest Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals (also known as the Bonn Convention) meeting (COP-14) is taking place in Uzbekistan this month, and the government of Brazil has proposed protections for two catfish species with extraordinary migrations, the dorado and piramutaba (manitoa).- The dorado’s migratory journey for instance spans a distance of 11,000+ kilometers round trip, from the Andes to the mouth of the Amazon River, and along the way it connects multiple ecosystems and feeds local and Indigenous fishing communities, but is under increasing threat.- “During COP-14, the dorado and piramutaba will take a prominent place thanks to the Brazilian Government’s proposal to include them in CMS Appendix II…It is essential that the governments at the meeting adopt Brazil’s proposal,” a new op-ed argues.- This article is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay.

  • From murder to mining, threats abound in Colombian Amazon Indigenous reserves

    - A reporting team has analyzed the impact of environmental crimes in 320 Indigenous reserves that are part of the Colombian Amazon biome. According to Global Forest Watch, more than 19,000 hectares (more than 47,000 acres) of tree cover were lost in 218 of these reserves in 2022.- Illegal coca crops were also recorded in 88 reserves, with illegal mining-related impacts reported in at least 10 reserves.- Illegal groups that exercise territorial control with weapons are threatening Indigenous governance and keeping inhabitants confined to their territories.

  • Brazil’s 2024-2027 “Transversal Environmental Agenda”: The elephants in the room (commentary)

    - Brazil’s current 4-year development plan is accompanied by a “Transversal Environmental Agenda,” released last week, to coordinate environmental measures across the different federal agencies.- While the agenda lists many worthwhile items in the portfolios of the various ministries, it fails in the most basic role such an agenda should play: ensuring that government actions do not cause environmental catastrophes.- Missing subjects include foregoing building roads that open Amazon forest to deforestation, legalizing illegal land claims that stimulates an unending cycle of land grabbing and invasion, plans for hydroelectric dams in Amazonia, expanding oil and gas drilling and the burning of fossil fuels that must end without delay if global warming is to be controlled.- An earlier version of this text was published in Portuguese by Amazônia Real. It is a commentary and does not necessarily reflect the views of Mongabay.

  • Tropical forests share similar mix of common and rare tree species, study shows

    - A Nature study reveals surprising similarities among the most common tree species in tropical rainforests in Africa, the Amazon and Southeast Asia, with 2.2% of tree species accounting for half of the trees in each region.- University College London (UCL) researchers and 356 collaborators analyzed more than 1 million trees across 1,568 locations, identifying 1,119 prevalent tree species through statistical techniques and resampling.- Despite diverse environmental conditions, tropical forests on different continents exhibit consistent patterns of tree diversity, suggesting possible universal mechanisms shaping these ecosystems.- The focus on common tree species could aid predictions of forest responses to environmental changes, emphasizing the importance of balancing conservation efforts for common and rare species.