Deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest

The main sources of deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest are human settlement and development of the land. In the nine years from 1991 to 2000, the total area of Amazon Rainforest cleared rose from 415,000 to 587,000 km²; comparable to Spain, Madagascar or Manitoba. Most of this lost forest has been replaced with pasture for cattle. In February 2008, the Brazilian government announced that the rate at which the Amazon rainforest was being destroyed had been accelerating noticeably during the time of the year that it normally slows: In just the last five months of 2007, more than 3,200 sq. kilometers, an area equivalent to the state of Rhode Island, was deforested. The Amazon rainforest continues to shrink but more recently the rate of deforestation has been slowing, with the 2011 figures showing the slowest rate of deforestation since records have been kept.


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