Research ArticleCONSERVATION BIOLOGY

The last frontiers of wilderness: Tracking loss of intact forest landscapes from 2000 to 2013

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Science Advances  13 Jan 2017:
Vol. 3, no. 1, e1600821
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1600821

Figures

  • Fig. 1 The world’s IFLs.

    IFL extent for the year 2013, IFL area reduction from 2000 to 2013, and boundaries of geographic regions used for the analysis.

  • Fig. 2 Distribution of IFL area in the year 2000 and reduction of IFL area 2000–2013 by geographic region.

    The y axis shows the initial IFL proportion of the forest zone in the year 2000. The x axis shows the reduction in IFL area from 2000 to 2013 as the proportion of IFL 2000 area. The area of each bubble indicates the IFL area in km2 × 106. Values within each bubble represent the regional IFL area in the year 2000 as a percent of the global total.

  • Fig. 3 Distribution of IFLs by country in the year 2000 and reduction of IFL area 2000–2013.

    The y axis shows the IFL area in the year 2000. The x axis shows the reduction in IFL area from 2000 to 2013 as the proportion of IFL 2000 area. Country codes are given in Table 2.

  • Fig. 4 Regional reduction of IFL area (km2 × 103) and causes of change.
  • Fig. 5 Annual proportion of the total forest loss within tropical forests that lost IFL status between 2000 and 2013.
  • Fig. 6 Stages and causes of the IFL area reduction and landscape transformation in the Republic of the Congo (map center at 16°0′E 1°12′N).

    The infrastructure and IFL extent within the area are shown as of September 2016. The map shows expansion of settlements and regional transportation and logging roads from the year 2000 until 2016. Logging road expansion caused the reduction of IFL area. IFL extent was mapped for the years 2000, 2013, and 2016. New settlements and agricultural areas appeared along existing and established roads. Logging expansion triggered forest fires that initiated from the roads and forest clearings. In September 2016, a water reservoir was constructed within the remaining IFL area, which caused continuous fragmentation and transformation of the surrounding landscape.

  • Fig. 7 Examples of the ongoing expansion of oil palm plantations within IFLs in tropical regions.

    Each example shows IFL degradation depicted in year 2015 or 2016 cloud-free Landsat-8 satellite images. All maps have the same scale. The IFL boundary in 2013 is marked by a yellow line, and the IFL boundary for the year 2000 is marked by a red line. Oil palm plantations established before the year 2013 are denoted as “A,” and plantations established after 2013 are denoted as “B”. (1) Gabon; image subset centered at 11°47′E 2°7′N; image date, 12 January 2015. (2) Indonesia; subset centered at 139°45′E 7°21′S; image date, 10 May 2016. (3) Peru; subset centered at 75°7′W 8°15′S; image date, 24 June 2016.

Tables

  • Table 1 IFL extent and area reduction per geographic region.
    Geographic
    region
    Forest
    zone area
    (km2 × 106)
    IFL 2000 area
    (km2 × 106)
    IFL proportion
    of the forest
    zone in
    2000 (%)
    *Forest
    proportion
    within IFL
    2000 (%)
    IFL proportion
    of global IFL
    area in
    2000 (%)
    IFL
    2013 area
    (km2 × 106)
    IFL area
    reduction
    2000–2013 (%)
    IFL area
    reduction
    2000–2013,
    not attributed
    to fire (%)
    Africa9.081.0011.099.87.80.9010.110.1
    Australia1.010.1312.455.61.00.1021.915.3
    South America, temperate0.410.1638.243.41.20.151.30.9
    South America, tropical14.704.4330.198.934.64.117.37.1
    North America, temperate
    and southern boreal
    5.850.549.266.54.20.4615.511.2
    North America,
    northern boreal
    3.893.0478.263.823.72.943.30.3
    Northern Eurasia,
    temperate and
    southern boreal
    11.961.2310.369.89.61.129.17.4
    Northern Eurasia,
    northern boreal
    3.331.5747.075.712.21.504.41.8
    Southeast Asia7.380.729.893.75.60.6213.913.9
    World total57.6012.8122.282.3100.011.897.25.7

    *Forest is defined here as land with tree canopy cover above 25%, as depicted by the global tree cover product (18).

    • Table 2 IFL extent and area reduction per country.
      Country nameCountry code
      (for Fig. 3)
      IFL 2000
      area (km2 × 103)
      IFL proportion
      of the forest
      zone in
      2000 (%)
      IFL proportion
      of global IFL
      area in
      2000 (%)
      IFL area
      reduction
      2000–2013 (%)
      IFL area
      reduction
      2000–2013,
      not attributed
      to fire (%)
      AngolaAGO2.90.30.0213.713.7
      ArgentinaARG39.96.50.32.01.8
      AustraliaAUS82.29.80.632.722.8
      BelizeBLZ4.319.70.034.84.8
      BhutanBTN6.419.30.0515.515.5
      BoliviaBOL233.328.91.819.618.3
      BrazilBRA2476.131.719.36.36.2
      BruneiBRN2.035.10.0217.017.0
      CambodiaKHM1.10.90.0138.238.2
      CameroonCMR52.813.40.425.225.2
      CanadaCAN3040.351.023.74.72.3
      Central African RepublicCAF8.71.50.134.434.4
      ChileCHL131.436.91.01.30.9
      ChinaCHN45.01.60.411.511.2
      ColombiaCOL349.231.02.71.31.3
      Costa RicaCRI3.26.20.023.03.0
      Côte d’IvoireCIV4.61.70.0417.517.5
      CubaCUB0.50.50.00400
      Democratic Republic
      of the Congo
      COD643.927.75.04.24.2
      Dominican RepublicDOM0.81.70.0129.01.6
      EcuadorECU53.322.30.45.35.3
      Equatorial GuineaGNQ4.215.80.0345.245.2
      EthiopiaETH3.71.40.039.69.6
      FinlandFIN9.73.10.10.20.2
      French GuianaGUF65.479.10.55.75.7
      GabonGAB108.841.20.822.922.9
      GeorgiaGEO9.018.30.10.70.7
      GuatemalaGTM5.75.20.0413.313.3
      GuyanaGUY144.169.61.111.311.3
      HondurasHND6.76.00.128.628.6
      IndiaIND33.75.60.31.61.6
      IndonesiaIDN359.220.12.810.810.8
      JapanJPN1.20.40.010.010.01
      KazakhstanKAZ4.416.60.032.32.3
      LaosLAO8.53.80.147.947.9
      LiberiaLBR4.75.00.0432.232.2
      MadagascarMDG17.27.20.119.018.5
      MalaysiaMYS21.16.50.225.125.1
      MexicoMEX15.01.80.12.82.6
      MongoliaMNG11.712.60.112.50.4
      MyanmarMMR52.910.10.430.930.9
      NepalNPL0.60.60.00400
      New ZealandNZL43.125.40.31.31.2
      NicaraguaNIC10.38.00.138.138.1
      NigeriaNGA3.01.30.025.35.3
      NorwayNOR1.81.40.011.01.0
      PanamaPAN14.519.60.119.819.8
      Papua New GuineaPNG159.835.11.213.313.3
      ParaguayPRY44.511.10.379.379.3
      PeruPER567.268.54.46.16.1
      PhilippinesPHL4.01.60.039.59.5
      Republic of the CongoCOG138.740.71.117.717.7
      RomaniaROU1.00.60.01100.0100.0
      RussiaRUS2744.328.321.46.54.3
      SamoaWSM0.723.80.010.60.6
      Solomon IslandsSLB7.832.30.152.952.9
      SurinameSUR107.473.80.85.75.7
      SwedenSWE11.63.00.10.80.8
      TanzaniaTZA4.10.80.032.32.3
      ThailandTHA19.47.00.27.87.8
      UgandaUGA1.00.70.010.90.9
      United StatesUSA539.314.24.27.90.2
      VanuatuVUT0.77.50.011.11.1
      VenezuelaVEN312.835.72.41.51.5
      VietnamVNM4.11.70.0325.525.5
    • Table 3 Sample-based assessment of the causes of IFL area reduction.
      Total IFL
      area reduction
      (km2 × 103)
      Number
      of samples
      (1 km2 each)
      The IFL area reduction by proximate cause, km2 × 103 (standard error, km2 × 103)
      WildfireTimber
      harvesting
      Agriculture and
      pasture expansion
      Mining, oil
      and gas,
      hydropower
      Other transportation,
      tourism
      Africa101.3100077.5 (0.4)22.8 (0.4)01.0 (0.1)
      Australia27.4506.6 (0.2)00.5 (0.1)17.6 (0.2)2.7 (0.1)
      South America,
      temperate
      2.1500.5 (0.01)0.9 (0.01)000.7 (0.01)
      South America,
      tropical
      321.53007.5 (0.3)68.1 (0.8)209.0 (0.9)28.4 (0.5)8.6 (0.3)
      North America,
      temperate and
      southern boreal
      83.38424.8 (0.4)56.6 (0.4)01.0 (0.1)1.0 (0.1)
      North America,
      northern boreal
      101.211692.5 (0.3)008.7 (0.3)0
      Northern Eurasia,
      temperate and
      southern boreal
      112.111323.8 (0.4)60.0 (0.5)026.3 (0.4)2.0 (0.1)
      Northern Eurasia,
      northern boreal
      69.58739.2 (0.4)1.6 (0.1)028.8 (0.4)0
      Southeast Asia100.2100075.6 (0.4)22.6 (0.4)02.0 (0.1)
    • Table 4 IFL area reduction inside and outside IUCN category I to III PAs.

      Area-based estimate represents area calculated from the map. Sample-based estimate is based on matching sampling analysis performed only within portions of IFLs vulnerable for degradation. This analysis only considers the reduction of IFL area 2000–2013 that was not attributed to fire.

      RegionArea-based estimateSample-based estimate and standard error (SE)
      IFL 2000 within
      IUCN category
      I–III PAs (%)
      IFL area reduction
      within PAs (%)
      IFL area reduction
      outside PAs (%)
      IFL area reduction
      within PAs, % (SE, %)
      IFL area reduction
      outside PAs, % (SE, %)
      Africa10.81.611.25.5 (0.72)25 (1.37)
      Australia and New Zealand47.49.620.554.6 (1.57)44.1 (1.57)
      Temperate South America43.70.41.31.6 (0.40)1.1 (0.33)
      Tropical South America15.12.08.08.0 (0.86)14.6 (1.12)
      Temperate North America34.01.116.45.2 (0.70)24.6 (1.36)
      Temperate Northern Eurasia7.71.47.93.2 (0.56)17.5 (1.20)
      Southeast Asia12.74.615.26.8 (0.80)17.9 (1.21)
    • Table 5 IFL extent and area reduction within logging concessions in three central African countries.

      The spatial database of logging concessions in Cameroon (2013), Republic of the Congo (2013), and Gabon (2012) was obtained from the World Resources Institute (www.wri.org/our-work/project/congo-basin-forest-atlases).

      CountryIFL proportion
      of total concession
      area in 2000 (%)
      IFL proportion
      of FSC-certified
      concession area
      in 2000 (%)
      IFL area
      reduction
      2000–2013
      within the
      country (%)
      IFL area
      reduction
      2000–2013
      within all
      concessions (%)
      IFL area
      reduction
      2000–2013
      within FSC-certified
      concessions (%)
      IFL area
      reduction
      2000–2013
      within PAs
      (IUCN category I–III) (%)
      Cameroon40.538.425.241.184.50.3
      Republic of the Congo42.461.617.737.141.94.8
      Gabon48.429.722.937.937.09.0

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