Deforestation in Rondônia, Brazil – April 23rd, 201311.5S 63.5W
The state of Rondônia in western Brazil, once home to 208,000 square kilometers of forest (about 51.4 million acres), has become one of the most deforested parts of the Amazon. In the past three decades, clearing and degradation of the state’s forests have been rapid: 4,200 square kilometers cleared by 1978; 30,000 by 1988; and 53,300 by 1998. By 2003, an estimated 67,764 square kilometers of rainforest had been cleared.
In this image, intact forest is deep green, while cleared areas are tan (bare ground) or light green (crops, pasture, or occasionally, second-growth forest). Deforestation follows a fairly predictable pattern: the first clearings that appear in the forest are in a fishbone pattern, arrayed along the edges of roads. Over time, the fishbones collapse into a mixture of forest remnants, cleared areas, and settlements.