Forest loss and fragmentation in the Amazon: Implications for wildlife conservation
Amazonian forests are experiencing rapid, unprecedented changes that are having major impacts on wildlife, regional hydrology and the global climate. Rates of deforestation and logging have accelerated in recent years and patterns of forest loss are changing, with extensive new highways providing conduits for settlers and loggers into the heart of the Amazon basin. These myriad changes are causing widespread fragmentation of forests. Fragmented landscapes in the Amazon experience diverse changes in forest dynamics, structure, composition and microclimate, and are highly vulnerable to droughts and fires-alterations that negatively affect a wide variety of animal species. In human-dominated lands intensive hunting may interact synergistically with fragmentation to further threaten wildlife populations.